Citizen has no fundamental right to sell liquor:SC

A bench of Justices R V Raveendran and Surinder Singh Nijjar said the government also has the right to consider grant of licenses as per the rules in force and not at the time when the applications are made for running the business.

"Having regard to the fact that the state has exclusive privilege to manufacture and sale of liquor and no citizen has a fundamental right to carry on trade or business in liquor, the applicant did not have a vested right to get a licence.

"Where there is no vested right, the application for licence requires verification, inspection and processing. In such circumstances, it has to be held that the consideration of application of FL (foreign liquor)-3 licence should be only with reference to the rules/law prevailing or in force on the date of consideration of the application by the excise authorities, with reference to the law and not as on the date of application," the bench said in a recent order.

The apex court passed the order while dismissing a bunch of appeals filed by resort and hotel owners in Kerala challenging the state government's decision not to grant them licenses for sale of liquor.

The state had refused to grant the licenses as the applicants did not conform to the stipulations of at least being a two-star hotels as per the tourism policy evolved by the government.

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