Free Press Journal

Right to carry business not applicable to liquor business: Bombay High Court


Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has held that the Fundamental Right of carrying any business cannot be applied on business of liquor commodities.

The observation was made by a division bench presided over by Justice Vidyasagar Kanade and Justice Ajay Gadkari while hearing a group of petitions filed by toddy producing licence holders.

The petitioners challenged the October 2016 notification of Maharashtra government that imposed certain conditions on aspirants seeking toddy licences.

According to government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani, “The government had imposed a condition that the licences for carrying out toddy business would be granted only in those districts which had more than 1,000 toddy trees. Another condition was that the licences would be granted through auction wherein only local people can participate and no third party or outsider would be allowed.”

“Our basic argument was that the government can exercise its powers as laid in the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949 and can impose conditions on businesses that are related to liquor or liquor commodities,” Vagyani added.

While upholding the government’s notification, Justice Kanade said, “We agree with government’s argument and hold that the right to carry any business cannot be applied on liquor business or trade of liquor commodities.”