04-12-201904-12-2019 14:02:57 IST
2019-12-04T08:32:57.690Z04-12-2019 2019-12-04T08:32:50.310Z - - 09-04-2020
Following a petition filed by several bar owners in Andhra Pradesh over the sudden cancellation of their licences, the state High Court on Tuesday directed the government to file a counter-affidavit.
The YSRCP government had announced recently that the new licences for bars would be issued from January 1 and eventually the government, as a part of its liquor prohibition policy would restrict the sale of liquor to only five-star hotels. Liquor prohibition was one of the key promises of Jaganmohan Reddy during his campaign trail.
The bar owners, however, say that the decision is not only unfair, but illegal as well as their licenses are valid to 2022. The owners have also stated that they have paid their license fees until 2020.
"Many of us had renewed our licenses in 2017 for 5 years. These are valid up to June 30, 2022. We understand that the decision was taken as a part of the move towards prohibition, but many of us have already paid the yearly license fee up to June 30, 2020. We should at least be given time till then," said Andhra Pradesh State Wine Dealers’ Association President Subba Rao.
Meanwhile, the state government argued that it had discretionary powers to amend the existing policy.
After hearing both sides, the High Court directed the government to file a counter affidavit by December 10 and posted the case for further hearing, on December 18.
The Jaganmohan Reddy government has already brought down the number of retail liquor shops in the state to 3,500 from 4,380. The existing shops have been taken over by the state-owned AP State Beverages Corporation Limited.
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