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Court upholds ban on toddy tapping in two districts

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, JULY 29. The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday upheld a Government notification banning toddy tapping in Gulbarga and Raichur districts.

In their petition, the Murthedarara Seva Sanghas of Raichur and Gulbarga said the July 19, 2004 notification was illegal and flawed as it banned toddy tapping in two of the four districts where it was originally allowed. They said toddy tapping had been banned in the State before 1991. The Government later lifted the ban in Raichur, Gulbarga, Dakshina Kannada, and Udupi districts after a committee recommended so.

On July 19, the Government banned the tapping, sale, storage, and transportation of toddy only in Raichur and Gulbarga districts.

The petitioners contended that the Government had acted in a discriminatory and biased manner by banning toddy tapping in two districts and allowing it in the other two districts. They urged the court to quash the notification and also direct the authorities to issue licences for tapping toddy in the excise year 2004-05.

In its objections, the Government submitted that it had taken a policy decision to ban toddy tapping in six taluks of Gulbarga and Raichur districts.

It claimed that the toddy cooperative societies in Raichur and Gulbarga were manufacturing and selling spurious toddy by using the chemical chloral hydrate. It said the intake of the chemical led to the degeneration of the heart, liver, and kidney, affecting the central nervous system.It said 15 cases were registered in Gulbarga and eight in Raichur regarding supply of spurious toddy. Besides, 1,600 kg of chloral hydrate had been seized in Sedam and Chincholi taluks in Gulbarga district. Moreover, there was a shortage of toddy (date) palms. Justice N.K. Patil rejected the petition and upheld the Government notification.

Dismissed

A Division Bench comprising Justice S.R. Nayak and Justice Ram Mohan Reddy upheld a decision of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) dismissing a petition by a resident of Bellary district seeking appointment, on compassionate grounds, in the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

The petitioner, Khaja Sab, said he applied for a job in the ASI after his father, Karim Sab, a monument attendant in Bellary, died while in service. The CAT dismissed the petition on the ground that Khaja Sab had applied for a job 10 years after his father's death. Khaja Sab appealed in the High Court against the CAT order.

Upholding the CAT order, the Bench said the court could not issue a mandamus to appoint the petitioner.

If the family could manage for a decade or more after the death of its breadwinner, the legal heirs could not stake a claim by virtue of the right of inheritance.

It said the object of a compassionate appointment was to give succour to a family to tide over a crisis.

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