Clause 18A of the Bill defines sale of liquor as “ transfer of consideration by a liquor vend for consumption by a purchaser at a place other than its premises” and clause 19A defines supply of liquor as “provision of liquor for consideration at clubs, restaurants, hotels and other places on the basis of licenses issued on the condition that it shall be consumed within their premises ” .
In this regard, the petitioner submits that,
“ As per the impugned amendment the sale is different from supply and is meant to be consumed within the premises. However, Supreme Court was aware of these tantrums regarding consumption in premises and consumption off premises and thus they passed the direction to cease granting of licenses for sale of liquor .”
The petition further contends that the impugned amendment uses a very vague term of “ notified place ” and permits the sale of liqour at such notified places, hotels, clubs and restaurants.
The term “notified places” would definitely be misused to mean a ‘tavern’ as a notified place and the judgment of the Supreme Court as also the intent with which it was passed in National Interest would be diluted .
Alleging that the amendment is in clear disregard to the directions of the Supreme Court, the petitioner submits,
“ If the impugned amendment is allowed to operate then liquor vends camouflaged as a restaurant/ hotel or club could be found everywhere along the highways without any consideration of public health, public morality, public peace, and would resultantly lead to traffic chaos, health hazard and frequent road accidents .”
Further, the move of the Punjab Government has been termed as a “political response with an ulterior motive to dismantle the foundation of the verdict given by the Supreme Court.”
Referring to the annulment of judgments by the legislature, the Petitioner argues,
“ That the legislature cannot directly annul a judgment of a court. The legislative function consists in “making” law and not in “declaring” what the law shall be. If the legislature were at liberty to annul judgments of courts, the ghost of bills of attainder will revisit us to enable legislatures to pass legislative judgments on matters which are inter- parties .”
The matter will now come up for hearing on July 24.
News Source- Bar&Bench;