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Lakshmi NaraIn and ors. Etc. Etc. Vs. District Excise Officer, Fatehpur and ors. Etc. Etc. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. Nos. 966 and 971, etc. of 1978
Judge
Reported inAIR1978SC1476; [1979]1SCR161
ActsPunjab Excise Act, 1914 - Sections 59(f)(v); Uttar Pradesh Excise Act, 1910 - Sections 41(e)(v)
AppellantLakshmi NaraIn and ors. Etc. Etc.
RespondentDistrict Excise Officer, Fatehpur and ors. Etc. Etc.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....arijit pasayat, lokeshwar singh panta & p. sathasivam,jj] criminal conspiracy essence of, is unlawful combination. ordinarily offence is complete when combination is formed. agreement to do unlawful act by unlawful means need not necessarily be express. it may be proved by necessary implication. direct evidence to prove conspiracy is rarely available. - rule 13 b is one such rule which forbids sale of liquor 'on all tuesdays as well as the first day of every month'.aggrieved by rule 13b (as amended), because it prohibits liquor trade on the 1st of every month the petitioners, who are licensees, have come up to this court challenging its vires. all excise shops (including foreign liquor country spirit, home drugs, opium (tari and outs till shops) shall not be kept open on independence..........had challenged section 59(f)(v) and rule 37 as unconstitutional. in the present batch of writ petitions the contention is identical except that the enactment and rule are formally different but in pari materia. section 41(e)(v) of the u.p. excise act empowers the excise commissioner to make rules fixing the days and hours during which licensed premises may be kept opened or closed. rule 13 b is one such rule which forbids sale of liquor 'on all tuesdays as well as the first day of every month'. aggrieved by rule 13b (as amended), because it prohibits liquor trade on the 1st of every month the petitioners, who are licensees, have come up to this court challenging its vires. rule 13 b reads thus :13b. all excise shops (including foreign liquor country spirit, home drugs, opium.....
Judgment:

Krishna Iyer, J.

1. We have today disposed of a batch of writ petitions arising under the Punjab Excise Act, 1914 (Annexure A). There the petitioner had challenged Section 59(f)(v) and Rule 37 as unconstitutional. In the present batch of writ petitions the contention is identical except that the enactment and rule are formally different but in pari materia. Section 41(e)(v) of the U.P. Excise Act empowers the Excise Commissioner to make rules fixing the days and hours during which licensed premises may be kept opened or closed. Rule 13 B is one such rule which forbids sale of liquor 'on all Tuesdays as well as the first day of every month'. Aggrieved by Rule 13B (as amended), because it prohibits liquor trade on the 1st of every month the petitioners, who are licensees, have come up to this Court challenging its vires. Rule 13 B reads thus :

13B. All excise shops (including foreign liquor country spirit, home drugs, opium (tari and outs till shops) shall not be kept open on Independence day (August 15) Mahatma Gandhi Birthday (October 2) and on the day of Mahatma Gandhi's tragic death (January 30) every year and also on all Tuesdays as well as on the first clay of every month.

Provided that if the first day of the month happen to be a public holiday, the day next following of that month shall be the day on which the excise shops shall not be kept open. Provided further Excise Commissioner, may in consultation with the Collector of the District concerned, waive the condition of not keeping an exercise shop open on Tuesday or the first day of the month or the day next following of that month, as the case may be, for such specified period as he may think fit, in the case of hotels possessing a licence in Form F.L. 6 for the sale of foreign liquor for the benefit of such foreign tourists as may hold a valid permit under the All India liquor permit scheme of the Government of India.

2. The source of the rule-making power is Section 41(e)(v) which hardly needs reproduction.

3. It is easy to see that the provisions in the Punjab Law, challenged unsuccessfully before us, and these U.P. provisions are virtually the same. The contentions put forward by counsel for the petitioners and the submissions by the Solicitor General and Shri O.P. Rana in reply are also identical with what we have heard and considered in the Punjab cases. Indeed, the U.P. cases, from the point of view of the State, are stronger because the licences were awarded at public auctions and all the conditions now objected to in these writ petitions regarding closure of business on certain days are printed in the auction notice. With full knowledge of these restrictions, which they considered reasonable when they participated in the bids (and which we consider reasonable for reasons we have given in the Punjab cases), they took the licences. So their present challenge must meet with its Waterloo in the decision of this Court in the Punjab Cases. Without more ado, we dismiss the Writ Petitions with costs (one hearing fee).


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