Anuj Garg vs Hotel Association of India - Important Supreme Court Case
Anuj Garg & Ors vs Hotel Association of India - Important Supreme Court Case 2007
On 6th December, 2007, a two Judges Bench in Anuj Garg & Ors vs Hotel Association of India & Ors [Civil Appeal No.5657 of 2007] while examining the constitutional validity of Section 30 of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914 which prohibited employment of "any man under the age of 25 years" or "any woman" in any part of such premises in which liquor or intoxicating drug is consumed by the public, held that "if prohibition in employment of women and men below 25 years is to be implemented in its letter and spirit, a large section of young graduates who have spent a lot of time, money and energy in obtaining the degree or diploma in hotel management would be deprived of their right of employment."The Bench held that "to deprive a large section of successful young men and women from obtaining any job for which they have duly been trained", would be wholly unjust and that "the State cannot invoke the doctrine of 'res extra commercium' in the matter of appointment of eligible persons."
The Bench held that the impugned legislation suffered "from incurable fixations of stereotype morality and conception of sexual role."
When, in an attempt to justify the validity of Section 30 of the Act, examples of Jessica Lal and BMW cases were cited to highlight dangerous consequences of allowing sale and consumption of liquor by young men below the age of 25 years and vulnerability of women while working in bars, the Bench observed that "when the restrictions were in force, they could not prevent such occurrences. If the restriction goes, some such incidents may again happen." The Bench held that only on a pre-supposition that there is a possibility of some incident happening, a law which is ex facie ultra vires cannot be declared intra vires.