SOMA DEBBARMA Vs. STATE OF TRIPURA
HIGH COURT TRIPURA
STATE OF TRIPURA
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AKIL KURESHI,J. -
(1.) Petitioner has challenged the decision of the official respondents of accepting the price bid of the respondent No. 6 for allotment of rights for sale of liquor at Amarpur F. L. Shop.
(2.) Brief facts are as under:
The excise authorities of Government of Tripura issued a notice inviting tenders on 17.01.2020 for retail vending of foreign liquor and country liquor shops under Gomati district. This advertisement was common for 22 different locations where such shops would be granted licenses, one of them was Amarpur F.L. Shop within local limits of Amarpur Nagar Panchayat. The minimum price for duration of the license between the year 2020-21 to 2022-23 was Rs.19,02,775/-. This notice contained an important condition for the location of the shop that a tenderer may offer. This was in terms of Rule 26 of Tripura Excise Rules, 1990 and the condition read as under:
'As per provisions of Rule 26 of Tripura Excise Rules, 1990 (as amended upto 2019).
1) No retail vend of Foreign Liquor and Country Liquor shop shall be located within 100 (one hundred) meters from the following, namely:-
(a) Recognized Educational Institutions;
(b) Religious places of worship, bathing ghat;
(e) Office(s) of the recognized political parties;
Provided that no shop for the sale of liquor shall be (i) visible from a national or state highway; (ii) directly accessible from a national or state highway and (iii) situated within a distance of 220 meters in case of areas comprised in local bodies with a population not exceeding twenty thousand people and 500 meters in case of all other areas from the outer edge of the National or State highway or of a service lane along the Highway.
Provided also that if any Recognized Educational Institutions, Religious places of public worship, bathing ghat, Hospitals, Factories and Offices of recognized Political Parties come into existence subsequent to the establishment of retail vend of Foreign Liquor or Country Liquor, the aforesaid distance restrictions shall not apply.'
(3.) The petitioner as well as respondent No.6 participated in the tender process. There are in all five tenderers who had qualified. The authorities opened the price bids of all these terderers and found that the offer of the respondent No.6 at Rs.85,88,788/- was the highest and that of the petitioner at Rs.53,27,771/- was second highest. It appears that after obtaining the report of verification by a specially constituted committee which was tendered on 17.01.2020, the tender was awarded to the respondent No.6. In this report, copy of which is not produced by the respondents on record, but from the original files made available for our perusal as well as that of the counsel for the petitioner, it emerges that the committee had verified that the location of the proposed shop did not breach the requirements of Rule 26 of the Tripura Excise Rules, 1990 which was incorporated in the tender condition. The committee certified that the proposed site of the shop was beyond 100 meters from any recognized educational institutions, religious places of public worship, bathing ghats, hospitals, factories etc.;
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