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Kerala bars to be kept open for now: SC

India Blooms News Service | 11 Sep 2014, 06:37 pm
New Delhi, Sept 11 (IBNS): Kerala bar owners got a temporary relief on Thursday with the Supreme Court in an interim order directed the State Government not to cancel their licenses till September 30, media reported.

It has been learnt, that the top court also asked the Kerala High Court to hear the bar owners’ plea challenging the State Government’s “liquor-ban policy” immediately.

The ban was supposed to enforce from Thursday midnight.

Media The apex court bench comprised of Justice Anil R. Dave and UU Lalit asked the state government not to enforce the banning of liquor bars, media reported.

The Association of bar owners of Kerala entangled into legal battle with the State Government following State Government’s diktat to close all non-5-star bars across states and cancel their licenses.

The bar owners termed the State’s decision as “arbitrary” and approached the apex court for reprieve.

In their petition, the bar owners protested against Government’s policy.

Media sources said the bar owners alleged “partiality” on State Government’s part, since they felt it was unjustified to impose decision without hearing their cause.

They told SC that, the Government is deciding “arbitrarily” by cancelling their licenses and giving permission to 5-star hotels, which is “not-in-line” with State Government’s “no-booze policy”.

They also said, if there is an alcohol ban, state tourism will be badly hurt as a whole.

Earlier, on Wednesday, while hearing the case, the top court has questioned the logic behind the state government's new liquor policy for limiting bar licenses to only 5-star hotels as part of a move to implement total prohibition in the State in 10 years and agreed to examine it.

It also told the Kerala government to withhold its order prohibiting functioning of non-five-star hotel bars till Thursday.

The move came after Chief Minister Oomen Chandy last month passed an order banning the sale of liquor at bars and hotels below the five-star category.

With the motive to turn the state “booze-free” within next 10 years, The Kerala government decided to cancel the licenses of about 700 bars across the state.

Only five-star hotels will be allowed to serve booze.

But they also will have to go dry on every Sunday, was the order passed by Kerala Government.

Kerala bars to be kept open for now: SC

India Blooms News Service
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