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Bar and restaurants can serve food on prohibition days, says Karnataka High Court

The petition was filed by one Kushal Raj, a CL-9 licensee. The petitioner contended that despite the instructions of the Returning Officer, the state authorities have prohibited sale of liquor contrary to the direction.
Last Updated : 31 May 2024, 17:53 IST
Last Updated : 31 May 2024, 17:53 IST

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court on Friday directed the authorities not to restrain the petitioner, a Bar and Restaurant with a CL-9 license, and other similarly situated persons from serving food during the days of prohibition on sale of liquor imposed in view of elections to the Members of Legislative Council and the Lok Sabha elections counting. The order issued by the Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru district and the commissioner of police prohibited sale of liquor from 4 pm on June 1, 2024 till 4 pm on June 3, 2024 and from 6 am to midnight of June 6, 2024.

The petition was filed by one Kushal Raj, a CL-9 licensee. The petitioner contended that despite the instructions of the Returning Officer, the state authorities have prohibited sale of liquor contrary to the direction. On the other hand, Election Commission of India (ECI) filed an affidavit enclosing the copy of the calendar of events for conducting biennial elections to the Karnataka Legislative Council.

It was submitted that the word ‘polling date’ cannot be restricted to the date of poll and it has to be interpreted in accordance with section 135C of the Representation of People Act, 1951, which mandates prohibition of sale of liquor 48 hours prior to the date of polling.

“I do not find any illegality in the impugned orders which are passed in accordance with Section 135C of the Representation of People Act, and the communication of the Election Commission of India, and also Rule 10-B of Rules, 1967. The respondent Nos.3 & 4 (DC and Commissioner of Police, respectively) are directed not to restrain the petitioner and other similarly situated persons from serving food in the Bar and restaurants,” Justice Hemant Chandangoudar said.

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Published 31 May 2024, 17:53 IST

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