14. Sir HERBERT ROBERTS
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he has seen the circular, dated 29th October, 1912, issued by the Board of Revenue of Behar and Orissa with reference to the rules for the settlement of country liquor shops; whether the circular withdraws the restriction on the auction system allowed in paragraphs 26 and 27 of chapter III. of the Bengal Excise Manual, 1910, Vol. II., which provided that in the settlement of country liquor shops, when the bid reached a figure beyond which no profit could be made, the presiding officer should stop the auction and exercise his discretion as to the person to whom the settlement should be given; and whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the subject?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The reply to the hon. Member's question is in the affirmative. The discretionary power created by the rule was considered to open the door to fraud by subordinate Excise officers. And its retention was unnecessary in view of the power vested in the presiding officer to reject obviously speculative bids. The Government of India, after full consideration of the Local Government's views, have approved its action.