It is well settled law that the right to carry on business is a fundamental right, but the right to carry on business of liquor, including foreign liquor, is not a fundamental right. Such a right is regulated by the government's policy from time to time, the Madras High Court said on Wednesday.

The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam, made the observation in its judgment on an appeal filed by a distilleries unit in Puducherry.

Small Scale Industry Provisional Certificate

Puducherry Elite Distilleries filed the appeal challenging an order of a single Judge in March last year dismissing its writ petition, thereby refusing to issue any direction to the authorities for grant of a Small Scale Industry Provisional Certificate for starting an IMFL unit in the Union Territory.

It appeared that the unit's application was earlier rejected on the ground that the government's policy was not in favour of encouraging new IMFL units or expansion of existing units in the Union Territory.

In the counter affidavit by the authorities, it was stated that the government had not issued any provisional registration for manufacturing IMFL after May 16, 1996.

The Bench said the appellant failed to produce any document to show that the authorities had issued any provisional registration for manufacturing IMFL unit to any person after May 16, 1996. In view of the matter, the single Judge had rightly dismissed the writ petition.


  • Refuses to direct authorities to grant certificate for starting IMFL unit
  • Provisional registration for manufacturing IMFL not issued after May 16, 1996: affidavit

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