Five year old Kanpur boy gets liquor shop closed. Taking cognisance of his plea Allahabad High Court directs authorities not to renew licence of this shop.


Acting on a PIL moved by a five year old LKG student, the Allahabad High Court has directed the state government authorities to refrain from renewing the licence of a liquor shop adjacent to the school of the petitioner in Kanpur.

The petitioner – Atharva Dixit had sought direction to relocate the country made liquor shop in Azad Nagar at Kanpur Nagar and to refrain from granting it a fresh or renewed licence for 2024-25, as according to him the distance between liquor shop and his school is only 30 meters. As the liquor shop remains open throughout the day and is a meeting point of anti-social elements, it is creating disturbance to the students of the school, the petitioner had pleaded.


While partly allowing a PIL filed by one Atharva Dixit, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Bhansali and Justice Vikas Budhwar restrained the state excise authorities respondent from granting/renewing the licence the shop in question after expiry of the present licence on 31st of March, 2025, i.e. for the financial year 2025-26 onwards.


However, in response to the PIL, the state government relied on the provisions of Rule 5(4)(a) of the Uttar Pradesh Number and Location of Excise Shop Rules, 1968 The proviso to this rule stipulates a distance of 50 meters between a liquor shop and any place of public worship, school, hospital, or residential colony. Further, if any such place comes into existence after the establishment of the shop, the provisions of this rule do not apply. Since the shop in question has been operational for over 30 years and the school was established in 2019, it was submitted that there is no violation of the Rules of 1968.


However, the petitioner’s counsel took the plea that if a school is established after the liquor shop, it should not result in the closure of the shop during the current financial year. However, once the licence in question expires, no fresh licence or renewal should be granted. Therefore, rejecting the petitioner’s representation on these grounds is factually incorrect, the petitioner added.


The court in its decision dated May 2 further said, “The mere fact that the shop has been used as a liquor shop in a financial year prior to the school came into existence, is not sufficient for invoking the proviso for the purpose of granting licence year after year in as much as the licence is issued to the licencee on his fulfilling the eligibility under Rule 8 of the Rules of 2002 and not to the shop in question. Any other interpretation to the said proviso, as projected by counsel for the respondents, would render the provisions of Rule 5 (4) (a) nugatory.”



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