The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has dismissed a petition filed against Maharashtra government for using foodgrains in production of liquor by social activist Anna Hazare among others.
A division bench, comprising justices Vasanti Naik and Prasanna Varale, dismissed the plea after the counsel for respondents Kartik Shukul pointed out that a similar petition, filed by a social worker Chetan Kamble, was dismissed by the Principal bench of Bombay High Court last year.
The scheme of producing liquor from food grains was scrapped in 2009 and no new allotments were made to any unit since then, the counsel told the court.
The petitioners had moved the HC against the state government's decision to issue licenses to the wards of influential politicians to produce alcohol from food grains.
They sought directives from the high court over Maharashtra government's decision to offer grants to such projects.
Besides Hazare, other petitioners included social workers Dr Abhay and his wife Rani Bang, Dr Prakash Amte, Dr Narendra Dabholkar, Dr Anil Awchat, Hiraman Wankhede and Sachin Tiwale.
The PIL alleged that Amit Deshmukh, son of Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, along with BJP leader Gopinath Munde's daughter Shweta Palwe, NCP leader Govindrao Adik, and former minister Vimal Mundada, is directly or indirectly engaged in manufacturing alcohol from foodgrains. All of them were made respondents in the case along with the state government and state excise department commissioner.
Other respondents included – Yashraj Ethanol Procession, Mallikarjun Distilleries, Shahapur Distilleries, Grainotch Industries, Radico NV Distilleries, Vitthal Distilleries, Adlars Bio-energy, Jogeshwari Beverages, Pranav Agrotech, Victoria Agro Food Processing, Alco Plus Producers and Pionium Industries.