Mumbai: Now you can only sell or store liquor in glass bottles and not in plastic ones. This comes after the Bombay High Court on Tuesday threw out a petition challenging the draft rules of the Maharashtra government that makes sale and storage of liquor in glass bottles compulsory.
The ruling has come as a setback to the distiller associations which had sought deferment of finalisation of the proposed draft news.
A Division Bench of Justice Amjad Sayed and Justice Makarand Karnik heard the petitions filed by All India Plastic Manufacturers’ Association and other distiller associations. They had challenged the proposed draft rules of the government. According to a recent Government Resolution (GR), July 25 was set as the deadline for the sending suggestions or objections to the proposed draft rules.
Senior counsel Janak Dwarkadas apprised the judges of the fact that a Bench headed by former Chief Justice Dhirendra Waghela had last year stayed the GR of the government that made selling and storage of liquor in glass bottles mandatory. The government had also banned the sale and storage of liquor in plastic bottles. He had contended that the government cannot bypass that stay and bring in the new rules by way of amendments in the Maharashtra Prohibition Act.
Hiten Vengaonkar, the special counsel appearing for the government, argued that the stay on GR has nothing to do with the proposed draft rules. He also argued that the government had powers to amend the existing Act. He also told the judges that the new rules are being enforce to stop the use of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles for alcohol storage and sale. He also said this decision has been taken by keeping the ‘larger public interest’ in mind. The judges were also informed that the government had on July 10, issued a notification that had set July 25 as the deadline for objections and suggestions on the proposed rules. After considering the submissions advanced, Justice Sayed said, “We are not inclined to accept the submissions as advanced by the petitioners (distiller associations) and no case is made out for this court’s intervention.”