The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the Delhi government on a petition moved by Member of Parliament (MP) Pravesh Sahib Singh Verma challenging the newly-amended Delhi Excise Rules, 2010 (‘Rules’) allowing home delivery of liquor.
The division bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on Monday after sought the response of respondents deferred the matter for September 20.
The petitioner MP Pravesh Sahib Singh Verma through Advocate Balaji Srinivasan submits that the Delhi Government has amended Delhi Excise Rules, 2010 (‘Rules’) to allow for ‘home delivery of liquor, both Indian and foreign-made, through mobile applications or websites.
The plea states that in particular, the amended Rule 66(6) which provides for ‘home delivery’ suffers from various constitutional illegalities and therefore is not sustainable under law. Our great nation is ravaged by the deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and many have tragically lost their lives. The emphasis of all medical professionals and Governments has been on the maintenance of health and well-being and the improvement of immunity. Whilst the NCT region was still grappling with the deadly second wave, the Respondent Government chose to pass the 2021 Amendment allowing for home delivery of domestic and foreign liquor without regard to the current narrative calling for improvement of immunity of citizens, plea read.
By placing the business of liquor trade above the policy of public health, the Respondent has substantially undermined and acted contrary to Article 47 of the Constitution. The Impugned Rule is an ill-considered piece of subordinate legislation and is manifestly arbitrary. This is evident from the speed at which the 2021 Amendment was passed and notified and the absence of clarity as to the implementation of the Impugned Rule. It gives no thought to the ban on consumption of liquor in public places for making it possible to deliver to public places, the plea said
The Delhi High Court currently examining a batch of petitions challenging the New Excise Policy recently notified.
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