The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday upheld the Haryana excise policy for the financial year 2015-16.
Disposing of the petition challenging the policy, a division bench headed by justice SJ Vazifdar held that the it incorporated the directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court wherein the HC had put some restrictions on opening of liquor vends along the state or national highways.
The petitioner, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) Arrive Safe Society, had challenged the policy seeking its quashing and further directions to the state to not auction any liquor vends accessible or visible from national or state highways and service lanes abutting them.
The petitioner had stated that the exact location of the proposed liquor vends had not been disclosed by the government in the policy.
The HC found that the petitioner apprehended that the policy might not be strictly implemented. As the policy is in accordance with the law, it would be necessary to consider each violation separately, when it arose, the HC recorded.
The high court also declined to issue directions to the state government on the submissions of the petitioner that all liquor shops and vends should be on the lines of modern shops meant for urban areas. The petitioner had also submitted that the practice of putting up tin shops should be done away with.
"These are policy decisions which must be taken by the authorities. It is possible that the construction of permanent structures in areas other than posh market areas may result in difficulties and complications," the HC recorded.
The HC also recorded that there were adequate safeguards in the policy to ensure that the facilities of water, electricity and toilets were provided in taverns.
The HC, however, asked the government to inform the deputy excise and taxation commissioners of all districts to ensure strict compliance of the HC restrictions and also attend to the complaints promptly. One more petition challenging the excise policy was also dismissed.