Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar Monday said that the state government is preparing to file a review petition in the Supreme Court against the apex court’s directions to ban liquor shops within a radius of 500 metres from the highways.
Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of a function, Parsekar said, “As per the advice of the Advocate General, the government will file a petition… I have suggested the Excise Commissioner to gather the information as to how many people or how many businesses are affected and simultaneously, I have also asked the AG to study in what way we can go about approaching the court.”
Stating that the order would have a cascading effect, he said, “Goa is a touristic state. Our geographic conditions are such that national highways run through most of the places. So the order would affect most of the business community. Another peculiar condition about our state is that most of Goa’s restaurants have liquor licences. I don’t know if the court has taken it into consideration or not.”
The Chief Minister further said that Goa was not made a party to the case and heard before pronouncing the judgment. “In fact, while pronouncing such an order that would have far-reaching effects, the Supreme Court should have made all the states a party to it. We are all the stakeholders. Before pronouncing the order, they should have at least sent notices to all the chief secretaries,” he said.
Stating that the model code of conduct was in implementation in the state, Parsekar said that though the decision would be taken by the new government, which will come into power, the interest of the state is a priority. He said, “Till the time court order is not stayed, it is binding on the government to implement it. We cannot violate it. But we have time till April 1. Counting is on March 11. Within a week after the counting, government should be formed. They should be able to do it. But I will definitely keep all the required data for the new government.”
Meanwhile, playing down the possibility of convening an assembly session before the counting on March 11, the Chief Minister said that the delay is not because of the government, but it is due to the schedule fixed by the election commission. “I have already moved a file for his written opinion from AG. Within the next two-three days, we should receive it,” he said.
Parsekar further said, “I would be also happy to call a session of the assembly. Already the elections are over. It is ethically not correct on the part of the outgoing government to call an assembly session. Secondly, if I call a session, it would be the first session of the assembly and the same will have to be addressed by the Governor. The Governor, in her speech, speaks about the policies of the government. Which government’s policies should she speak about?” he said.