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New Excise Policy: 200 brands of liquor have been registered in Delhi so far, MRP fixed for 184

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The Delhi government on Monday told the Delhi High Court that so far 200 brands of liquor have been registered under the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 and MRP has been fixed for 184 of them. .

Justice Rekha Palli, who is hearing the petitions of several liquor retailers, was told by the AAP government that 192 brands have paid their registration fees under the new excise policy.

Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi government, told the court that out of the remaining eight, three have withdrawn and five are in the process. The High Court directed that the Delhi Government should submit a status report in this regard. The court has fixed November 16 for the next hearing of the matter.

The petitioners are successful bidders for operating license of retail liquor shops and want to declare as invalid the decision of the Delhi government to levy license fee with effect from November 1, 2021.

On November 9, the High Court had asked the Delhi government to inform about the number of brands of liquor where the MRP has been fixed and which are yet to be done under the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22. The court also asked the Delhi government to state whether any liquor brand has already been registered.

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On November 11, the Delhi government had orally assured the court that no coercive action would be taken against the liquor retailers for non-payment of license fees. The government had said that no action will be taken against the traders as they are partners in the business.

The petitioners are successful bidders of L-7Z (Zonal License for Retailer of Indian Liquor and Foreign Liquor) and L-7V (Retailer of Indian Liquor, Foreign Liquor in a region).

Senior advocate Maninder Singh and counsel Tanmay Mehta, representing the retail liquor vendors, had earlier argued that the government cannot direct the petitioners to pay the license fee from November 1 as the payment of license fee depends on commencement of business and The authorities have not fixed the MRP of most of the brands and have no authority to direct them to pay the fees.

The petition also seeks to restrain the government from demanding money in the form of license fee or security deposit and to direct the authorities not to levy or demand license fee from successful bidders, until the government’s Delhi Excise Policy 2021- does not comply with its obligations under the 2022 tender terms. The petition has also sought to postpone the scheduled date of commencement of business from November 17.

In one of the petitions filed by 15 retailers through advocates Sanjay Abbott and Ankit Agarwal, it has been said that there has been a lot of delay in initiating the process of registration of brands and fixing of MRP by the Delhi government under the Excise Policy of 2021-22 . It claimed that till October 30, not a single brand was registered within Delhi under the new excise policy nor was the MRP fixed or fixed under the new policy.

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