Discover to Centre over ‘freezing’ of Ludhiana liquor vends
Chandigarh, January 25
The Punjab and Haryana Excessive Court docket has put the Union of India on discover on a petition by a liquor agency for quashing the “freezing order” dated January 19 underneath the provisions of the Narcotic Medication and Psychotropic Substances Act.
One of many contentions by petitioner AS and Firm was that the motion was based mostly on the truth that considered one of its companions to the extent of 25 per cent share, Akshay Chhabra, was arrested in a case underneath the NDPS Act. In his disclosure, Chhabra had allegedly said he had invested Rs 3.35 crore as safety for looking for liquor vends licence.
In its petition positioned earlier than Justice Vinod S Bhardwaj’s Bench, the petitioner by senior advocate RS Rai with counsel Gautam Dutt and Rubina Vermani contended the agency, vide the order, had been restrained from “transferring, promoting, gifting, mortgaging, bequeathing or in any other case coping with, in any method, with the liquor vends besides with prior permission”.
It was submitted that the investigating company was but to hold out the probe by way of Part 68E of the NDPS Act and was obligated to first establish the property belonging to the accused. Within the investigation thus far, “no iota of proof has been discovered to hyperlink the petitioners/partnership agency of getting indulged in any narcotics commerce or of getting invested any proceeds of the crime”.
Rai added the partnership agency had already expelled Chhabra vide a dissolution-deed dated November 18, 2022, and a brand new partnership-deed had additionally been submitted to the Division of Excise and Taxation, Punjab.
The discover issued by the Bench was accepted on the respondent’s behalf by senior standing counsel Sourabh Goel. Further Solicitor-Basic of India Satya Pal Jain added the order itself allowed the petitioners to method the competent authority or the investigating officer on the first occasion for looking for permission to hold on with the operations and that the identical might be granted by the officer as effectively.
Earlier than parting with the case, Justice Bhardwaj asserted the investigating officer/competent authority wouldn’t be debarred from taking a call, if the petitioners most well-liked a illustration giving particulars of their declare. The pendency of the current petition wouldn’t act as an obstacle.