Delhi HC to hear petitions challenging Delhi govt decision allowing opening of liquor shops, levy of special Corona fee

New Delhi [India], May 10 (ANI): The Delhi High Court is set to hear a batch of petitions regarding the opening of liquor shops and a 70 per cent increase in liquor prices, on Monday.

A division bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Sangeeta Dhingra Sehgal is scheduled to hold a hearing tomorrow regarding the issue.

Delhi government had recently allowed the opening of around 200 liquor shops and implemented a token system to ensure social distancing at liquor shops in the national capital by allowing people to book a time slot to buy alcohol without having to stand in queues.

One of the pleas seeks directions to Delhi government to make a proper policy to start the online sale and home delivery of liquor immediately and urgent steps in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak so as to control crowds outside liquor shops.

And to ensure strict adherence to social distancing norms and to emanate its legal duty to ensure proper and adequate measures to combat COVID-19.

Another petition seeks to shut down all liquor shops claiming that reopening the stores amid the coronavirus crisis puts the lives of citizens in danger. The plea also seeks setting aside of notifications and order issued in this regards by the Delhi government.

Whereas another petition listed for the hearing has challenged the levying of special Corona fee on liquor by Delhi government. It also seeks setting aside of said notification of May 4 and declare it illegal and bad in law.

This plea alleged that the "unprecedented levy of special Corona fee by the Delhi govt resulting in the overall increase in the maximum retail price of liquor by 70 per cent is arbitrary and uncalled for and bad in law".

There is no justification or explanation of the sudden levying of the fee. The special Corona fee was not done when liquor vends were allowed to operate initially and the move was taken after there were the reports of huge queues and violation of social distancing norms outside the bends, it added. (ANI)