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HC issues notice to Delhi Govt, others over plea challenging new excise policy

ANI | Updated: Aug 04, 2021 15:58 IST

New Delhi [India], August 4 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the Delhi government and others on another petition challenging the New Excise Policy, submitting that right to collect taxes cannot be auctioned by way of the fresh rule.
The petition was filed by Delhi Liquor Traders Association through advocates Arvind Bhatt & Siddharth Sharma.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh asked Delhi Govt and others to file a reply in the petition and listed the matter for August 9.
The petitioner has sought "an appropriate order or direction, to hold and declare that a state cannot auction the right to levy or collect taxes (such as Excise or VAT) from the public, and permit the appropriation of the collected taxes (over and above the auction price paid) as profits, as is sought to do under the Delhi Excise Policy for the year 2021-22 ("New Excise Policy) or the (impugned liquor) iL-Policy. "
The petitioner has urged the Delhi High Court to hold and declare that (after 26.01.1950) the Government of the day cannot give to a private citizen the 'Right to Collect Taxes' - and pocket them - not deposit them in the Consolidated Fund; with a clarification that by giving different label (or nomenclature) to 'tax', such a purpose - of allowing a private citizen to collect taxes and pocket them-can not be achieved.

"Hold and declare that the sovereign right to collect taxes cannot be auctioned by way of the New Excise Policy for the year 2021-22 (il-Policy) and the Tender dated 26.06.2021 is unconstitutional," the petitioner pleaded.
"Hold and declare that the New Excise Policy is ultra vires Article 14 of the Constitution of India, in consequence thereof, issue an appropriate order of direction, including in the nature of a writ of certiorari,
quashing the New Excise Policy for the year 2021-22," the petitioner urged and also requested to quash the Tender dated 28.06.2021 including any or all consequential action taken in furtherance of the said Tender by the Respondent are to declare the tender bad in law.
The petitioner also sought to ensure that every recovery of the true tax component reaches the Consolidated Fund and monopoly and cartelization are prevented, and the Policy conditions do not make it impossible for the existing licensees and other 'non-super rich' to bid.
Till the new Policy is formulated, a direct continuation of the existing L-7 & L-10 licensees, the petitioner urged the Court.
As an interim measure, without prejudice of the petitioner's interim orders contention, those who were already holding the licenses from prior to 24.02.2015 may be allowed a bid in the same condition for a single vend license, the petitioner said. (ANI)