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SC moots fresh bid for Haryana liquor vends
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, June 6
In a bid to resolve the Haryana liquor auction issue, the Supreme Court today mooted a proposal for the fresh bid of 1,140 “non-auctioned” vends which were allotted by the state government through “negotiation” after not finding sufficient claimants as the vends were located in rural areas.

Since the Punjab and Haryana High Court had struck down the allotment of negotiated vends, the allottees had moved the apex court. A Bench of Mr Justice Arijit Pasayat and Mr Justice C.K. Thakker sought responses of all contesting parties by tomorrow on the proposal.

But the Bench made it clear that the proposed fresh bid would only be for the past eight months of the current financial year to give negotiated vendors at least two months to realise the financial benefit of the money spent by them to get the shops.

The court was informed that the shops in remote areas had remained unallotted on March 31, the last day of the previous financial year, even after three rounds of bidding.

The court was told that even after the negotiated allotments, 150 vends had remained unallotted till date. The court will take up the matter for further hearing tomorrow after receiving replies from the parties.

Vendors allotted shops by negotiation contended that they had spent a lot of amount on the development of the vends to make them financially viable but the liquor contractors getting the shops in the open bidding argued that the allotment through negotiation was a fraud as several vendors were not allowed to bid for them.

The advocate appearing for those vendors who had challenged the allotments in the high court said such allotments were “arbitrary exercise of power by the Excise Commissioner and violated the rules as it was not supposed to change the policy of the government.”


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