HC denies vendors’ plea to set aside Delhi govt order against liquor discounts

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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to set aside the Delhi government order which prohibited concessions or discounts by the retail licensees on the MRP of alcohol brands, on a plea filed by a group of liquor vendors.

On February 28, the Delhi government had announced discontinuation of the discount policy on the maximum retail price (MRP) of liquor in the capital, saying that due to discounts being offered at the liquor stores, the shops were thronged by a large number of people, causing law and order problems and inconvenience to the local people.

The bench of Justice V. Kameshwar Rao, after taking the submissions of the parties, refused a stay on the plea filed by five vendors holding valid L7Z licenses, through advocates Sanjay Abbot, Tanmaya Mehta, and Honey Uppal, which was challenging the order passed by the Department of Excise, Entertainment, and Luxury Tax of the Delhi government.

As per the petitioners, “The impugned decision of the respondent completely takes away the petitioners right to take business decisions with regard to discounts/concessions/rebates which the petitioners were otherwise empowered to take under the new excise policy and tender documents. ‘Clauses’ such as giving discounts formed an essential part of the new excise policy scheme. Hence, the order to discontinue/withdraw an important clause is in complete contradiction to the letter and spirit of the excise policy.”

Liquor shops in Delhi were offering hefty discounts on liquor bottles to exhaust their stocks by the end of March when licenses will be renewed.

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