In the matter of Dattaram Govind Naik v. State of Goa, A writ petition was filed opposing the Commissioner of Excise’s decision to revoke a liquor licence for the retail sale of country liquor and liquor created in India for consumption. In the current case, a Deed of Partnership between the petitioner and the licence holder was signed in 2009 and allowed the petitioner to run a pub and restaurant where the sale of alcohol was carried out in accordance with a permission issued in the name of the licence holder. In 2018, the licence holder’s legitimate heirs submitted a request to the Excise Department for the termination of the licence. The claimed licence had been revoked by the commissioner of excise. The petitioner then contested the aforementioned order based on clause 15 of the Deed of Partnership. The Appellate Authority, however, dismissed the appeal, and the High Court likewise appealed the Appellate Authority’s ruling.
Analysis of Court Decision
The petition was denied by the Bombay High Court’s single-judge panel of Justice Bharat P. Deshpande because the decision to transfer a liquor licence was up to the relevant body
The Partnership Deed’s aforementioned language, according to the Court, makes it obvious that the petitioner cannot request for a transfer of the liquor licence in his name if the licence holder passes away. When the original licence holder passed away, the clause at most said that the legal heirs were to join as partners, and in such case, the licence was to be transferred in their names. The Appellate Authority correctly noted that the petitioner was merely attempting to mix the issues concerning the Deed of Partnership with those of the transfer of licence under the provisions of the Goa Excise Duty Act, the Court stated that the interpretation of clause 15 projected by the petitioner could not be accepted.
The court also ruled that the decision to transfer a liquor licence is up to the authority in question and that the Excise Commissioner was required to cancel the permit once the legal heirs requested its termination. The petition was thus denied by the court because it lacked merit.