Section 14. Any applicant for a license or renewal of a license who is aggrieved by a denial of its application by the issuing authority or by its failure to act within the period of sixty days, or any licensee who is aggrieved by the action of an issuing authority in modifying, suspending, cancelling, revoking, declaring a license forfeited, denying consent to the transfer or assignment of a license or control thereof, or by the issuing authority’s failure to act within the period of sixty days may appeal therefrom to the department within thirty days following notice of such action or within thirty days following the expiration of a sixty day period of inaction, by a petition in writing, setting forth all material facts in the case.
The department shall hold a hearing upon each such appeal, requiring due notice to be given to all interested parties.
If the department approves the action of the issuing authority it shall issue notice to them to that effect, but if the department disapproves of their action it shall issue a decision in writing advising said issuing authority of the reasons for its decision and ordering the issuing authority to conform with such decision. The department shall not, in any event, order a license to be issued until the application for said license has been granted by the issuing authority.
Upon the petition of ten per cent of the subscribers who are taxpayers of the city or town in which a license has been granted by such authority or who are registered voters in the voting precinct or district in the area or areas to be served as set out in the license, or the consumers’ council, or upon its own initiative, the department may investigate the granting, renewal, transfer or assignment of such a license or the conduct of the business being done thereunder, and may, after a hearing, modify, suspend, revoke or cancel such license for cause.
If the issuing authority fails to suspend, revoke, cancel or declare forfeited a license or to perform any other disciplinary act when lawfully ordered so to do by the department upon appeal or otherwise, within such reasonable time as it may prescribe, the department may itself revoke such license or perform such act, with the same force and effect as if issued or performed by the issuing authority, but no license shall be issued by the department except in ratification of a prior issuance to the same party by the issuing authority.