BINOJ Vs. EXCISE COMMISSIONER
LAWS(KER)-2003-11-133
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
Decided on November 14,2003

BINOJ Appellant
VERSUS
EXCISE COMMISSIONER Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) The petitioners in all these cases who were engaged in retail sale of toddy are challenging separate orders issued by the Commissioner of Excise cancelling their licences. The reason for cancellation of licenses is the seizure of arrack/spirit from the toddy shop, or from the compound of the toddy shop or from nearby area, and consequent registration of crime against the petitioners as licensees and against their employees. Though the orders under challenge are different, the findings are more or less the same and the reason for cancellation also being the same, the Writ Petitions are heard together, and I proceed to dispose of the same under this common judgment. I heard counsel for the petitioners appearing in all the cases and Government Pleader appearing for the respondents.
(2.) Even though the reason for cancellation of license is seizure of arrack or spirit and consequent registration of crime against the petitioners who are licensees, alongwith their employees, there is some difference on facts particularly with regard to the quantity of contraband article seized, the place of seizure and the persons from whom seized. While in W.P.C.31844 of 2003, the quantity of spirit seized is 58 litres from a place not far away from the toddy shop, in W.P.C.31570, the item seized is 15 litres of arrack from a place not far away from the toddy shop. In the case of W.P.C.32513/03, three litres of arrack was seized from the shop itself and in the case of W.P.C. 32045/03, three litres of arrack was seized from the compound of the toddy shop and in W.P.C.29463 of 2003, the item seized in 10 litres of arrack, 200 metres away from the toddy shop.
(3.) The Commissioner of Excise issued notices to the petitioners/licensees and called for their objections, heard them and cancelled the licences in exercise of his powers conferred under S.26(b) of the Kerala Abkari Act read with R.7(5) and R.7(31) of the Kerala Abkari Shops Disposal Rules, 2002. The orders are issued based on the prima facie case established in the form of registration of crime against the petitioners/licensees before the Magistrate Court for offences punishable under S.8(1) and 8(2) read with S.55(a) of the Abkari Act.;


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