ANABESHAHI WINE AND DISTILLERIES PRIVATE LIMITED Vs. GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
ANABESHAHI WINE AND DISTILLERIES PRIVATE LTD.
GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
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Sriramulu, J. -
(1.) After obtaining a Distillery Licence under the Andhra Pradesh Distillery Rules, 1970(hereinafter called "the Rules"), made by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Section 72 of the Andhra Pradesh Excise Act, 1968 (hereinafter called "the Act"), the petitioner, Anabeshahi Wine & Distilleries Private Ltd., Hyderabad, has been carrying on the business of manufacture and sale of wine and other ailed products in its factory, located at Hyderabad. In pursuance of Section 28 (2) of the Act, the Excise authorities posted one Inspector, one Sub-Inspector and four constables at the petitioners Factory premises and required the petitioner to pay their entire salaries, allowances and pension contributions. The demand of salaries etc., of the departmental employees is without jurisdiction and illegal. Representations made by it to the Excise authorities against the said demand had no effect on them, but resulted in threats of cancellation of its license. The petitioner, therefore, filed this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. for the issue of a writ of mandamus restraining the Excise Department from demanding or collecting the salaries etc., of the departmental employees posted at its factory.
(2.) The legality of the demand is mainly challenged by the petitioner on two grounds. They are: (1) By virtue of Entry 51, in List Ii of the 7th Schedule to the Constitution of India, no duty other than excise duty could be levied or collected under the Andhra Pradesh Excise Act; and (2) the demand of the establishment charges of the supervisory staff is neither an "excise duty" within the meaning of the Act, nor a "fee".
(3.) The Government, In its counter, opposed the writ petition. According to the Government, the staff is not posted only to ensure proper collection of excise duty, but for the convenience of the licensee to whom certain facilities are granted. Neither Section 28 (2) of the Act, nor Rule 15 of the Rules is ultra vires of Entry 51 in List II of the 7th Schedule. After having agreed to pay, the petitioner cannot repudiate its liability. for the services rendered to the petitioner, the Government is levying establishment charges of the supervisory staff. Apart from Entries 8 and 66 of list II of the 7th Schedule. entry 7 in List III of the 7th Schedule also gives power to the State Legislature to demand an collect the establishment charges from the petitioner.;
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