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SC extends deadline to July 31 for Bihar liquor companies to dispose stock

In a relief to liquor companies in Bihar, the Supreme Court gave them another two months to dispose of their unsold stocks.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2017 15:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Supreme Court,Liquor companies,Liquor stock
The Supreme Court has extended the deadline for liquor manufacturers in Bihar till July 31 to dispose their old stocks .(HT PHOTO)

The Supreme Court on Monday gave liquor manufacturers from Bihar time till July 31 to dispose of their old stocks worth over Rs 200 crore outside the state.

A bench headed by Justice AK Sikri allowed the plea filed by the manufacturers to extend the deadline from May 31 to July 31.

Earlier, the court had extended till May 31 the deadline of April 30, which was fixed after the Nitish Kumar government imposed a ban on liquor in the state from April 5 last year.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies, submitted before the bench that the firms would be incurring huge losses if they are not allowed to dispose the existing stocks.

The state opposed the plea, saying the firms were indulging in illegal liquor trade, to which the court said: “If they are engaging in illegal trade, then why don’t you (state) check them? Do you think that once the stocks are cleared, there would be no illegal trade?”

But, the court made it clear that there shall be no further extension under any condition.

Read more: Liquor traders’ men pelt stones on police, free seven from custody in dry Bihar

The confederation, in its fresh plea, said it was impossible dispose the huge stock because the time was too less to either destroy it or export. It was lying in the warehouses of the companies and godowns of Bihar State Beverage Corporation (BSBCL).

On October 7, 2016, the SC had stayed the operation of Patna High Court judgement nullifying the state law prohibiting sale and consumption of all types of liquor in the state. The order came on Bihar government’s appeal against the HC verdict quashing the prohibitory order.

The Bihar government then came out with a new law against sale and drinking of alcohol within a month of the HC order.

First Published: May 29, 2017 19:37 IST