Rajasthan villages denied permission to vote for liquor ban
Applications for closure of liquor shops being turned down by the excise department
Jaipur: Protests against liquor shops are happening in almost every district in Rajasthan. Several villages have demanded to expertise voting rights under the the Rajasthan Excise (Closure of Country Liquor Shop) Rules, 1975 for closure of liquor shops in their areas. But the excise department has now stalled all the applications saying that under the law, only country made liquor shops can be closed through referendum.
The Rajasthan Excise (Closure of Country Liquor Shop) Rules, 1975 makes it possible for people to close a liquor shop in their village or municipal ward by voting in a referendum. The could
Two villages have already used the law to ensure closure of liquor shops. This will not be possible now as the excise department has decided to stop all such voting procedures. This is in accordance with law which states that such voting procedure can be carried out only for country liquor shops.
The department only issues licenses to composite liquor shops and there is no rule which can be implemented to close these shops.
40 such villages have demanded to exercise their voting rights under the law for the closure of liquor shops, but the officials said that none of these villages has country liquor shops, so their applications have been turned down.
Rajsamand is the area which has witnessed most demands for this. The department has written a letter to the government asking for clear instructions regarding the issue.
For any voting process, a request has to be first sent to the district collector who has to first approve the process. People belonging to such Gram Panchayats and the ones mentioned on the voters’ list can participate in the voting process.
A minimum 50% votes in favor of shutting down liquor shops are needed to take necessary action. Such a process was first conducted in Rajsamand, however, the shops that were forced to close were all composite liquor shops.
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