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Chitra, Cochin Wines & Drugs Versus State of Kerala & Others, The Assistant Excise Commissioner & Others

2015 (8) TMI 946 - SUPREME COURT

Entitlement to pay proportionate annual rental for the year 1999-2000, instead of full annual fee of 13 lakhs which was applicable for that year in respect of an FL3 licence granted - Held that:- the legal principle to the effect that no person can be prejudiced because of an act of a Court is apposite and relevant in the present case. We say this keeping in perspective the position that although the Appellant had applied for the FL3 licence which would ordinarily run the course of one financial .....

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r conditions as well as “payment of annual rental proportionately”. It is therefore clear that Rule 14 would not impede or inhibit the charging of annual proportionate fee so long as no failure is placed on the licensee or it is blameworthy itself.

Licensee was entitled to remission of payment of kisht because of being disabled to conduct its business on account of the interim orders passed by the Court. We affirm the conclusions arrived at in these decisions. We hold that a party is .....

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jection on 4.9.2002, the Appellant would have been liable to pay the entire fee for the year 2001-2002. This is so for the simple reason that there was no third party interference or intervention which led to the non-utilization of that licence for the previous portion of that year; it may be reiterated that the Appellant had to locate fresh premises. However, after 4.9.2002, the Appellant cannot be held responsible in any way for the non-utilization of the licence up to the date it was eventual .....

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ndered defunct; which may have then led to consequence of disentitlement for grant or renewal of the FL3 licence in the future. - Decided in favour of appellant. - Civil Appeal No. 2246 of 2006, Civil Appeal No. 4900 of 2006 - Dated:- 21-8-2015 - Vikramajit Sen And Shiva Kirti Singh,JJ. For the Petitioner : Mr. Himinder Lal For the Respondent : Ms. Bina Madhavan JUDGMENT Vikramajit Sen, J. Civil Appeal No. 2246 of 2006 1. This Appeal calls into question a brief Judgment passed on 21.7.2005 by th .....

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ed to in Rule 13 is granted in the course of a financial year, the full annual fee shall be paid and the licence shall expire at the end of the financial year . On the reading of the said Rule, the Division Bench opined that it was not permissible for any licensee to claim only proportionate payment on the predication that it had been disabled from utilizing the licence for the full period because of third party intervention. Accepting the Appeal, the Appellant was permitted to pay the balance o .....

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ave commented on the brevity of the impugned Judgment for the reason that the learned Single Judge of the Kerala High Court in O.P. No. 18145 of 1994 had, in its detailed Judgment, considered various legal aspects including the topicality of the maxim Actus curiae neminem gravabit , that an act of Court prejudices no one, as well as the pronouncement of this Court in R.Vijaykumar v. Commissioner of Excise 1993(4) SCALE 386, which indubitably held the field and was facially in favour of the Appel .....

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drum granted an interim injunction restraining the Excise Commissioner from issuing the said licence to the Appellant for user at her said Hotel. This suit, along with another suit similar to it, was eventually dismissed on 29.9.1993. In an ensuing Appeal, the District Judge granted an ad interim injunction on 15.4.1994, which came to be vacated on 3.6.1994. On 23.11.1994, the Respondent rejected the Appellant s application for the FL3 licence due to an amendment to the Foreign Liquor Rules whic .....

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ion Bench which passed the impugned Judgment was not brought to bear on the already existing binding decisions in R.Vijaykumar as well as Jayadevan v. Board of Revenue (Excise) 1999 (1) KLJ 87 wherein the Division Bench of the High Court of Kerala has held that the licensee is required to pay only the proportionate licence fee if the delay in granting the licence, or utilizing it, as the case may be, are for reasons not attributable to the said licensee. 5. We are in agreement with the learned s .....

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application was not made in the duration of that year and was thus initially not for a fraction of the financial year. This Court has already held in R.Vijaykumar, in the circumstances prevailing in that case, that the Department could not interfere with the utilization of the FL3 licence, provided that the licensee complied with all other conditions as well as payment of annual rental proportionately . It is therefore clear that Rule 14 would not impede or inhibit the charging of annual propor .....

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tors such as a pre-existing injunction order etc., she would not have been able to exploit it for the entire year, she may not have been liable to pay the licence fee for the entire year. This is not the factual matrix which obtains in the case at hand; the licence could only be granted for the period from 21.12.1999 to 31.3.2000, i.e. till the close of that financial year, owing to unforeseeable circumstances beyond the ken and control of the parties before us. We have already made a mention of .....

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sion in the payment of licence fee if it is precluded from transacting business on the strength of that licence because of factors and reasons extraneous to it and/or if it is granted the licence on the direction of a Court for only a portion of the financial year. 6. The Appeal is accordingly allowed. The Respondent State shall, within six weeks from today, refund to the Appellant the balance amount of 9,41,257/- together with interest thereon at the rate of six per cent per annum with effect f .....

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nted an FL3 licence for its Hotel Hackoba at Ernakulam for the period ending on 31.3.2001. Due to a dispute with its landlord it had to vacate its premises; and on locating to another, it applied for the renewal of the licence on 26.2.2002. This was obviously for the immediately succeeding year 1.4.2001 to 31.3.2002. The Excise Commissioner rejected the application for renewal on 4.9.2002 on the ground that the licence had become defunct; a decision which was upheld by the State Government. In t .....

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this payment, on 25.3.2003, the licence was renewed. The Division Bench of the High Court of Kerala noted Rule 14 of the Foreign Liquor Rules as well as the fact that it had not been challenged. The Division Bench accepted the argument of the Appellant that for the reason that it could not utilize the licence for the year 2001-2002 as its application had been disallowed it was not liable to pay any fee; viz. during this period it was prevented by extraneous elements and factors from utilizing th .....

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lant s application for renewal of the FL-3 licence found approval instead of rejection on 4.9.2002, the Appellant would have been liable to pay the entire fee for the year 2001-2002. This is so for the simple reason that there was no third party interference or intervention which led to the non-utilization of that licence for the previous portion of that year; it may be reiterated that the Appellant had to locate fresh premises. However, after 4.9.2002, the Appellant cannot be held responsible i .....

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