KAPITAN DISTILLERIES Vs. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
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P.Venkatarama Reddi, J. -
(1.)The amendment made to sub-rule (1) of Rule 5 of the Andhra Pradesh Distillery Rules, 1970 and Rule 6 of the Andhra Pradesh Brewery Rules, 1970 enhancing the licence fee for obtaining distillery and brewery licence as the case may be, by G.O.Ms.No.74 Revenue (Ex.III) Department dt.1-2-1990 are being challenged in this batch of writ petitions.
(2.)The petitioners in this batch of writ petitions are either the owners of distilleries or breweries. 'Distillery' means the manufactory where wines or Indian liquors other than arrack, beer or toddy are produced. (Vide Rule 2(c) of the A.P. Distillery Rules). "Brewery" is the place where beer is manufactured, stored, or issued (Vide Rule 2(b) of the A.P. Brewery Rules). Rule 5(1) of the A.P. Distillery Rules provides for grantof distillery licence by the Excise Commissioner on the fulfilment of the conditions prescribed in Rule 4 and on payment of prescribed licence fee. In the year 1970, when the rules were first framed, licence-fee per annum was only Rs.3,000/-. In the year 1985, it was enhanced to Rs.5,000/-. In the year 1987, with effect from 9-11 -87, there was a steep hike in the licence, feeand the system of graded licence fee linked up with the licensed production capacity was introduced. The annual licence fee for distillery licence (D.2 licence) varied between Rs.one lakh and Rs.3 lakhs. By virtue of the amendment brought about by the impugned G.O. with retrospective effect from 1-10-1989, there was further increase in the licence fee for D.2 licence, the minimum fee being Rs.2 lakhs and the maximum being Rs.10 lakhs. Clause (b) of Rule 5(1) as amended is as follows:- (B) The annual licence fee for D.2 licence for manufacture of Indian made Liquor shall be paid as prescribed hereunder:
(3.)Initially, the licence fee prescribed for obtaining a brewary licence (Form B.2) was only Rs.3,000/- per year. It recorded a steep increase in the year 1987 when the licence fee had gone upto Rs. 8 lakhs per annum. The licence fee for brewery was further increased to Rs.8 lakhs per annum by the impugned G.O. dt.1-2-199 0 with retrospective effect from 1-10-1989. Rule 6 of the Andhra Pradesh Brewery Rules as amended reads as follows:-
"6. Every licence shall be in Form B.2 and shall be issued in the name of the licence and shall not be transferable. The licensee shall pay a licence fee of Rupees eight lakhs per annum. Every licence shall ordinarily be for a period of one year and may be renewable at the end of each year on the application made one month in advance."
Both licences, namely, distillery licence as well as brewery licence are for a period of one year and renewable thereafter.
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