Bar licences: Karnataka HC hopes Centre will consider NH denotification soon
By Express News Service | Published: 04th August 2017 10:19 AM |
BENGALURU: The High Court on Thursday expressed hope that the Centre will expeditiously verify the information given by the Karnataka government and take a decision on issuing notification under Section 2 of the National Highways Act to pave the way for renewal of excise licences.
Justice Vineet Kothari said this after Additional Advocate General A S Ponnanna submitted a memo to the court along with a copy of the communication sent by the Additional Chief Secretary of Karnataka to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
The judge then adjourned to August 17 further hearing of the petitions filed by bar and restaurant owners seeking directions to the state and Centre to denotify the stretches of highways passing through the city and renew their licences.In its communication, the state government has requested the Centre to denotify stretches of NH-4 and NH-7 in Bengaluru such as M G Road where the present Excise licencees have their establishments.The Additional Solicitor General, appearing for Union of India, told the court that the state government’s request will be considered expeditiously and added that the Centre needed two weeks time to submit a reply.
The counsel for the petitioners stated that the state Excise department should be directed to consider their case for renewal of excise licences awaiting such de-notification. They submitted that along with the licensees, their employees are also suffering financially in the absence of continuation of the business. Hence, there is an urgent need for the excise authorities to undertake a formal exercise of denotification, paving the way for consideration of renewal applications expeditiously, they said.
In its communication to the Centre, Karnataka has expressed its readiness to give an undertaking stating that all such NH stretches proposed for denotification, shall be developed and maintained as per NH standards and shall be kept in traffic-worthy condition by it or local bodies. It added that it would allocate `8 lakh per km in favour of local bodies for the upkeep of the denotified stretches.
“Such formal undertaking may be immediately furnished to the central government and copy of the same may also be placed on record of the court to avoid any further delay for this reason on the part of the central government to consider the denotification process,” the judge said.