Bombay High Court: A Division Bench of Nitin Jamdar and N.R. Borkar, JJ., while deciding a petition with regard to over the counter retail liquor sale, asked the petitioner to place the same before the respondent-Municipal Commissioner.

Petitioner, Maharashtra Wine Merchants Association filed the petition for refund of proportionate amount of licence fee and challenge to notifications/orders dated 5th, 12 and 22nd May, 2020, with a direction to permit over the counter retail liquor sale in Mumbai.

Direction to permit over the counter retail liquor sale in Mumbai

Petitioner contended that Pune and Nashik, where identical situation exists, normal counter sale of retail liquor is permitted and there is no reason why the same norms are not applied in Mumbai.

Further, the counsel added that, the system of online/ home delivery of liquor is fraught with various difficulties and can have adverse social impact, and it is also not safe.

“…impugned order dated 22 May 2020 issued by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai does not permit over the counter sale of liquor and permits e-commerce platform to be utilized for delivery. This decision is in the nature of policy.”

Respondents have been granted 4 weeks time with regard to refund of proportionate amount of licence fee.

Court considered appropriate for the petitioner to place the said petition before the respondent-Municipal Commissioner.[Maharashtra Wine Merchants Assn. v. State of Maharashtra, 2020 SCC OnLine Bom 680 , decided on 29-05-2020]

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