The Andhra Pradesh High Court has set aside an order suspending the license of a bar and restaurant observing that no valid reasons were recorded in the order.

In that context, the Bench of Justice Subba Reddy Satti observed that, "In fact, reasons are heart and soul of the order passed by the authority. Non-recording of reasons could lead to dual infirmities; firstly, it may cause prejudice to the affected party and secondly, more particularly, hamper the proper administration of justice."

The Petitioner received a show cause notice regarding a case under various sections of the Andhra Pradesh Excise Act, 1968. They were given ten days to respond, but on the same day, their license was suspended by the 3rd Respondent. Feeling aggrieved, the Petitioner filed a writ petition.

The Petitioner argued that the suspension order violated the principle of natural justice as reasons for the suspension were not provided. On the other hand, the Respondent contended that the Petitioner has an alternative remedy available through an appeal under Section 63(2) of the Andhra Pradesh Excise Act, 1968, before the Commissioner of Prohibition & Excise, A.P., Vijayawada.

The Court observed that, "as seen from the suspension order dated 29.04.2024, no reasons are assigned except mentioning that the explanation is not satisfactory. Apart from that, the suspension order, impugned does not indicate period of suspension. The authority shall mention period of suspension also in the order. On both counts i.e. violation of principles of natural justice as also non mentioning of period of suspension the order cannot withstand the legal scrutiny."

Accordingly, the writ petition was allowed and the suspension order was set aside.

Cause Title: M/s Teja Bar and Restaurant vs The State of Andhra Pradesh

Click here to read/download the Judgment