Seizing liquor by ED citing election code of conduct is abuse of power: Karnataka High Court

BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court, citing the Model Code of Conduct, took serious objection to the conduct of the excise department in registering an offense against a company by seizing two trucks loaded with liquor bottles, even though the company was accused of supplying that liquor. Is allowed. Karnataka State Beverages Corporation Limited (KSBCL). Justice M G Uma quashed two first information reports (FIRs) filed by excise officials of Nelamangala subdivision against Kalpatharu Breweries and Distilleries. The judge said, “Prima facie, this is a case of abusing the process of law by taking advantage of the election code of conduct and registering a case during the Lok Sabha elections.” If the petitioner company was not permitted to supply liquor to Karnataka KSBCL during the period of code of conduct, the Department could not have issued the permit in favor of the petitioner. Kalpatharu Breweries moved the High Court questioning the seizure of its trucks, each truck containing liquor worth Rs 30 lakh, and the registration of the offense by excise officials on March 18. The petitioner company said that it produced liquor and beer as per the license and was allowed to supply it only to KSBCL. The permit was issued on March 16 and was valid till March 22. But before its completion, the excise sub-inspector lodged an FIR on the grounds that trucks loaded with liquor were parked on the company premises. The government counsel opposed the petitions, arguing that the company had parked trucks laden with liquor on its premises. The court held that even if the first information is accepted in the light of the challan and permit produced by the petitioner, still no offense under Section 32 or Section 34 of the Karnataka Excise Act, 1965 is made out and hence the petitions are not allowed. Is.

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