Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court on Thursday directed the TS government not to grant licence to establish liquor retail outlets in the scheduled areas without the resolution of the gramsabha. A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice M. Ganga Rao gave the direction while disposing of an appeal by Mr Podem Ratnam challenging an order of a single judge.
Mr Ratnam had moved a writ petition against the government notification to grant licence to sell liquor in 17 villages in the scheduled areas of Jayashankar Bhupalapally district.
A single judge on September 21 issued an order directing the Prohibition and Excise department to adhere to the provisions of the Excise Act, 1968, Telangana (Grant of licence of selling by shop land conditions of licence) Rules, 2012 and the Panchayats Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Rules, 2011, while granting the licences. Mr Prabhakar Chikkudu, counsel for Mr Ratnam, said that no notification was issued so far in the tribal villages to conduct gram sabhas. He contended that PESA Rule 8 mandates holding a gramsabha only on whose approval licence to run a liquor shop in a village can be granted.
The bench said that it would not be proper to grant the licence in anticipation of resolution in gram sabha for having a liquor outlet within 30 days of the notification.
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