Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High
Court here has refused to hear a PIL filed by anti-corruption
crusader Anna Hazare against the Maharashtra government for
using foodgrains to manufacture liquor.
Justice S B Deshmukh at the division bench led by Justice
Sharad Bobde cited `not before me` as the reason of not
hearing the plea.
The PIL which came up yesterday, will now be listed
before another division bench most probably after the summer
The petitioners also including renowned social workers Dr
Abhay and Rani Bang, Dr Prakash Amte, Dr Narendra Dabholkar,
Dr Anil Awchat, Hiraman Wankhede and Sachin Tiwale moved the
court over the government`s decision to issue licenses to the
wards of influential politicians to produce alcohol from
They questioned the decision of the Congress-led
Democratic Front (DF) government to offer grants to projects
involved in production of alcohol.
The PIL alleged that Amit Deshmukh, son of Union Rural
Development Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh along with Pratapsinh
Patil, BJP leader Gopinath Munde`s daughter Shweta Palwe, NCP
leader Govindrao Adik, and former state Health minister Vimal
Mundada are directly or indirectly engaged in making alcohol
All of them were made respondents in the case along with
the government and the State Excise Department Commissioner.
The other respondents included Yashraj Ethanol
Procession, Mallikarjun Distilleries, Shahapur Distilleries,
Grainotch Industries, Radico NV Distilleries, Vitthal
Distilleries, Adlars Bio-energy, Jogeshwari Beverages, Pranav
Agrotech, Victoria Agro Food Processing, Alco Plus Producers
and Pionium Industries.
The government had promised to review the policy,
but later granted licences and grants to politicians or their
sons, the PIL said.
Last year, a similar PIL filed by social worker Chetan
Kamble was dismissed by the Bombay High Court. Following this,
15 factories began producing liquor from foodgrains.
The concept was introduced by the government with a view
to ensure development of the backward regions of Vidarbha and
Marathwada. The government`s view was that alcohol production
from jowar will offer higher prices to farmers and boost
production. In other countries, there is a huge demand for
liquor from foodgrains.
After citing this example, the government approved the
proposal for foodgrain-based alcohol production despite stiff
opposition from the planning and finance departments, the High
Court was told.