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HC seeks state and BMC response on alcohol plea

The Bombay HC has recently asked the state government and the BMC to respond to a plea filed by a shop owner seeking authorization for the online sale of alcohol.

HC seeks state and BMC response on alcohol plea
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The Bombay High Court has recently asked the state government and the BMC to respond to a plea filed by a south Mumbai shop owner seeking authorization for the online sale of alcohol through home delivery to all shops. This would include the ones situated inside the malls.

Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal had earlier allowed the online sale of alcohol through home delivery in Mumbai from May 23. The service was to be allowed from 10 am to 6 pm. Ojus Marketing Management Pvt Ltd owns a shop called ‘world of wines’ inside the CR2 mall at Nariman point. It has been seeking permission for the sale of liquor as a standalone retail shop. It has also been asking for the clarification of whether all liquor shops are allowed to commence home delivery or not. The petitioner through advocates Hiren Kamod and Abhishek Adke maintained that their shop even though inside a mall, had separate access. However, they were refused permission for home delivery. After the hearing, the bench directed the authorities to file a response and posted further hearing on June 5.

In the past, the Bombay High Court refused to cancel the order by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) prohibiting the over-the-counter sale of liquor in the city. The HC stated that it was the civic body's policy decision to do so in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The court had refused to quash a notification issued by the civic body on May 22, prohibiting the over-the-counter sale of liquor and allowing the use of e-commerce platforms for home delivery of alcohol.

Earlier this week, following the Centre's lockdown extension in containment zones, Maharashtra too revised lockdown guidelines for the new lockdown valid till June 30. In addition to the Centre's guidelines for reopening in phases, Maharashtra has imposed phase-wise reopening of activities in areas of MCGM (Mumbai), Municipal Corporations of Pune, Solapur, Aurangabad, Malegaon, Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon, Akola, Amravati, and Nagpur.

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