New Delhi, Mar 30 (IANS): The Delhi High Court has directed the city government's Department of Excise to take a decision, in two weeks, on Pernod Ricard India (PRI)'s application for an L1 licence to supply alcohol in the capital.
A single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh ordered the government to pass a reasoned order on the application.
French wine and spirits company Pernod Ricard has an Indian subsidiary called Pernod Ricard India, and in its argument before the High Court, it said that it sought L1 licence for two of its sites in August 2022 but the Excise Department, however, failed to decide the application.
It was apprised to the court that the Excise Department even sent a letter in September 2022 approving the licence issuance to the company, but no action was taken pursuant to this letter.
In fact, the Excise Department directed PRI to submit police verification certificates (PVC) under Section 13(c) of the Excise Act, 2009 within three days, even though such a condition is usually imposed after the grant of the L1 license, the plea stated.
It also argued that despite the company having followed with all requirements set forth by the Excise Department and even submitting the PVCs as instructed by them, the licence application was still pending.
"The inaction and inordinate delay on part of Respondent No. 2 is unreasoned and arbitrary and infringes on the petitioners' fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution of India," the plea read.