BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court has refused to allow online sale of liquor to consumers in the state. The court passed the order, while dismissing a petition filed by Hip Bar Pvt Ltd, a company engaged in offering semi-closed prepaid payment instrument (Mobile Wallet) to its customers among other services.
Justice S. Sujatha, in the order dated September 13, held that the petitioner company is not entitled to carry on with the business in the absence of enabling provisions available under the Karnataka Excise Act, 1965 to grant such a licence or permission. Senior advocate P. Chidambaram, who is now in Tihar Jail for nearly two weeks in connection with a corruption investigation, had appeared for the petitioner’s company along with other advocates in the case.
Hip Bar had contended before the HC that the licence issued by the state government under the Food & Safety Standards Act provides for carrying on with the business of distributor, supplier and transporter, wherein it is permitted to carry on food business relating to (1) Ready-to-eat savouries; (2) Beverages, excluding dairy products.
It submitted a Letter of Authority dated 01.08.2017 that was issued by the commissioner, Excise Department, for online order processing and delivery of Indian and foreign liquor including beer, wine and LAB (Low Alcoholic Beverages) by Hip Bar with certain conditions.
It is alleged that the letter was withdrawn abruptly without providing an opportunity to show cause after a regional television channel carried a report against the company. Hip Bar stated that it was compelled by the Excise Department to give an affidavit dated Nov. 15, 2018 stating that it has disabled the online delivery of liquor, without prejudice to its rights.
Later, it approached the High Court, praying to declare that it does not require any licence or permission for online sale of liquor, which the HC has dismissed.
DKS plea: HC extends stay order
The High Court extended its earlier order, staying an order passed by a special court which refused to discharge former minister D.K. Shivakumar and others from a case related to wilfully attempting to evade tax and filing of a false income tax statement.
The special court, in its order dated June 25, had said that no acceptable grounds were being made out by the accused at this stage to discharge them from the case.
Mr Shivakumar and two others in their plea before HC said that the special court did not properly consider their contentions. It pertains to the case arising out of Income Tax Department raids conducted in 2017 on Mr Shivakumar and others in several locations in Delhi and Bengaluru.
Advocate files vakalat for Prajwal
Advocate M. Keshava Reddy filed a vakalat on behalf of Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna in the election petition filed by former minister A. Manju, seeking his disqualification. The court adjourned the case to September 30.
The High Court earlier allowed publication of the summons to Prajwal in state-level newspapers as the summons could not be served as he was unavailable at the given address.
The High Court had ordered the notice, asking Prajwal to appear in person or through his counsel before the court.
Former minister A. Manju who lost the Lok Sabha election from Hassan claims that Prajwal, the winning candidate, failed to declare his assets in full before the Election Commission of India (ECI)....