Decided on June 13,2012

Himalayan Distillers Appellant


BARIN GHOSH, J. - (1.) THE State of Uttar Pradesh had exclusive privilege in relation to intoxicating liquor. It decided to exploit such privilege in association with ordinary citizens and, accordingly, made laws in that regard. While making the laws, it made it absolutely clear that such privilege would be dealt with by the officers of the State named in such laws. At the same time, in such laws, it made it abundantly clear that, in the matter of permitting a citizen to deal with such exclusive privilege, he is required to obtain a licence from the officer mentioned in such law, with a further direction that the officer mentioned in such law may also cancel such licence, but only after giving a show -cause.
(2.) IN the instant case, a licence was accorded on 24th September, 2001 to the appellant, whereafter, on 25th September, 2001, appellant was asked to disclose within 3 days whether it has taken steps as had been mentioned in the communication dated 25th September, 2001 in furtherance of the licence. It was also mentioned in the said communication dated 25th September, 2001 that, without complying with those requisites, appellant will not be entitled to utilize the licence granted to him. Subsequent thereto, by the order dated 23rd October, 2001, the licence of the appellant was cancelled. For this action on the part of the respondents in the appeal, a writ petition was filed and, by the judgment and order under appeal, the 2 writ petition has been dismissed only on the ground that the State has exclusive privilege in the matter of dealing with intoxicating liquor.
(3.) THERE cannot be any dispute that the State had exclusive privilege to deal with the same, but, when the State decided to deal with the same in association with citizens, it became obligatory on the part of the State to act reasonably while dealing with the citizens even in relation to matters, which are covered by the exclusive privilege of the State. In the instant case, the State not only decided to deal with its such exclusive privilege with the citizens, but, at the same time, made laws and, thereby, made it clear to its officers, who had been authorised to deal with the citizens, to act in a particular manner, i.e. to cancel a licence only after giving a show -cause. That having not been done in the instant case, the matter was interferable and, accordingly, while allowing the appeal, we interfere with the matter and quash the order dated 23rd October, 2001 as well as the order of the revisional authority dated 5th March, 2002. In view of this order, it is made clear that, with effect from today, the licence granted on 24th September, 2001 shall remain valid for the period mentioned in the licence, but this order will not stand in the way of the State to take steps for cancellation of the licence. But, in the event, the State wishes to cancel the licence, it must do so in accordance with the law made by the State.;

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