Under the system adopted by Odisha, an applicant for a liquor store license must submit a non-refundable application fee of ??1 lakh online to participate in the lottery
By Debabrata Mohanty
POSTED SEPTEMBER 30, 2021 11:29 AM IST
Orissa’s high court on Wednesday upheld the government’s decision to award liquor store licenses through a lottery scheme. He said that while auctions could be one method of licensing, it is not always the only method.
The court rejected a bunch of petitions against the lottery system adopted this year. A division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray said the ideal method of determining what costs to pay is best left to the government. “It is not possible to accept the petitioners’ assertion that the auction is the only and the best method to part with the exclusive privilege of selling liquor.”
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The lottery system has been adopted to issue licenses for 1,156 foreign liquor stores made in India and 240 domestic liquor stores. As part of the system, an applicant must submit a non-refundable application fee of ??1 lakh online to participate in the lottery. The state government received 19,416 applications for the 1,297 five-year licenses.
The petitioners argued that there is no provision in Odisha’s excise law for the introduction of the lottery system.