In the case of Pernod Ricard v Government of NCT of Delhi The Delhi Excise Department’s decision to deny India, the India-based affiliate of French booze giant Pernod Ricard, an L-1 licence for wholesale spirits supply in the capital, has been challenged in court. To sell alcohol in bulk, the corporation applied for a licence under the names Imperial Blue, Royal Stag, Blender’s Pride, and 100 Pipers. The Delhi Excise Department denied the petitioner’s request, citing The Delhi Excise Act sections 13(1)(c), 13(1)(4), and 44. Pernod Ricard maintained that the ED had only detained one regional manager and that there had been no interim attachment of the business’s finances.
Analysis of Court order
The corporation was permitted by the Delhi High Court Single Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh to appeal the denial to the appellate body under the Excise Act, 2009.
In light of the specific legislative provision that allows the petitioner to appeal the impugned order dated 13 2023 within the terms of section 72 of the Excise Act, 2009, this Court determines that the current writ is not maintainable. According to the Excise Act of 2009, the Petitioner has two weeks to file an appeal before the Appellate Authority. If such an appeal is submitted within the required time frame, it will not be rejected on the grounds of limitation as specified in the ruling. The Court took notice of the papers provided by the ED, the Central Bureau of Inquiry, and other agencies about the inquiry into the company’s workers.
The Bench concluded that the Licencing Authority cannot reject the claims made against a corporate body like Pernod Ricard since it is not alleged that any of its employees acted in their capacities. These significant accusations have a clear connection to the petitioner’s liquor operation and Excise licence. The charges also show that the workers misrepresented their affiliation with Pernod Ricard, which is at the heart of ethical business behaviour. Pernod Ricard was not eligible for relief under the Court’s extraordinary writ power provided for in Article 226 of the Constitution.
CASE NAME – Pernod Ricard v Government of NCT of Delhi W.P.(C) 5202/2023