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If Women Organizations Complain About Illegal Sale of Liquor, All The More Necessary For State To Act Expeditiously: Karnataka High Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
5 Jan 2021 2:51 AM GMT
If Women Organizations Complain About Illegal Sale of Liquor, All The More Necessary For State To Act Expeditiously: Karnataka High Court
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The Karnataka High Court recently said if an organization of women makes a complaint about illegal sale of liquor, the State Government and its officers will have to act very expeditiously, considering the rights of women. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vioshwajith Shetty in its order dated December 1, 2020, noted "It is the duty of the State Government...

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The Karnataka High Court recently said if an organization of women makes a complaint about illegal sale of liquor, the State Government and its officers will have to act very expeditiously, considering the rights of women.

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vioshwajith Shetty in its order dated December 1, 2020, noted "It is the duty of the State Government to ensure that if liquor is being illegally sold, on a complaint received in that behalf, immediate action is taken for preventing illegal sale of liquor. If an organization of women makes such a complaint, it is all the more necessary for the State Government and its Officer to act very expeditiously considering the rights of women."

Petitioner SUDHA KATWA had primarily sought a direction to constitute a committee of experts to recommend steps to implement Article 47 of the Directive Principles of the Constitution. Further, it had prayed for issuing a direction to form Nigrani Samitis of Women with legal rights to stop illegal sales in each village. A direction to the State to empower Gram Sabha Resolution to close down even the Licensed Shops even if 10% of People vote for this. Also direct the Government to form Committees like "Village Nigrani Committees" and other committees with some legal backing and support of Karnataka Legal Services Authority.

The bench said:

"All the prayers are for issuing a writ of mandamus. A writ of mandamus can be issued to enforce performance of a statutory duty or a statutory obligation. Except for the prayer clause (b), we do not find from the petition or from the submissions of the learned counsel for the petitioner that there is a specific failure pleaded on the part of the State Government to perform a particular statutory duty or a particular statutory obligation. As far as prayer clause (b) is concerned, if the sale of a particular category of liquor requires a licence and if the same is being sold without obtaining the requisite licence, it is the obligation of the State and the concerned authorities competent to take action to immediately step in and prevent illegal sale of liquor."

It added " Though the intention of the petitioner when he sought these prayers may be very noble, we are afraid that a writ of mandamus as prayed for except for the prayer (b) cannot be issued as corresponding legal duty and obligation on the part of the respondents is not shown."

It disposed of the petition by stating "Writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is equitable and discretionary. Merely because a representation made by the petitioner is not being decided, a writ of mandamus cannot be issued for asking in a mechanical manner. The Court will have to examine the nature of the representation. The Court will have to examine whether the authority to whom the representation is made has a power to grant the relief claimed in the representation. The conduct of the petitioner is also required to be examined."


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