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Review ‘New Excise Policy’: High Court to JK Govt
Bureaucrats can have ego but they are not Govt, says Sr Advocate Sunil Sethi
4/9/2021 12:52:57 AM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Apr 8: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked the government to review the “New Excise Policy.”
Senior advocate and BJP chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi while explaining the latest judgment of the Review Bench of the High Court told Straight Line that “It’s clearly mentioned in the para numbers 29 to 33 of the judgment that granting of licenses for five years is not justified. The Division Bench never said that these licenses cannot be renewed. It has been clearly stated that licenses can be renewed after one year.”
Advocate Sethi said, “When the draft of the New Excise Policy had come, the matter was sub judicious. And at that point of time representations were filed in the court but the government seemed to be in a hurry.”
He said, “On the very same day when the decision of the review petition came, the government without interpreting the judgment announced the New Excise Policy. The government’s decision has created confusion and it created panic among the Jammu based wine traders who are on the verge of losing their livelihood.”
Advocate Sethi said, “The Review Bench has made it clear that the licenses of the existing liquor license holders should be renewed on a yearly basis.”
He said, “New Excise Policy” has many lacunas. “There are many question marks. On one hand the government wants to decrease the consumption of liquor but on the other hand it has set targets. The new policy will promote dishonesty as by inviting open bids the focus will be on generating more and more revenue.
It will lead to traders resorting to illegal means like manufacturing duplicate liquor.
In J&K people have never died of consuming duplicate liquor but if the new policy is implemented people can die of consuming duplicate in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Advocate Sethi said, “Implementing new policy should not become a prestige issue. The government has no ego nor is it vindictive. Bureaucrats can have the ego but they are not the government. It should take such decisions that are people friendly. The government cannot be rigid; it has to be flexible. If the government realizes that it has taken any wrong decision it can acknowledge it and rectify it. There is no harm in revisiting such a policy that can snatch livelihood of hundreds of people and create a notion that outsiders are being empowered to dislodge the natives of J&K.”
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