The Apex Court bench headed by Justice Anil R Dave asked the state government to keep its hands off as it would hear the matter on Thursday when it was mentioned by a battery of senior lawyers representing different petitioners.

The Kerala government has passed an order banning the sale of liquor at bars and hotels below the five-star category and the ban order comes into force September 11.

Earlier, the bar owners had approached the High Court challenging the government's decision to close over 700 bar hotels in the state maintaining it was discriminatory.

According to the petitioners all licenses should be considered as one class. Licenses granted to five star hotels and other bars cannot be treated differently.

However, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has made it clear that his government would not go back on its new liquor policy of limiting bar licenses to only 5-star hotels as part of a move to implement total prohibition in the state in 10 years' time.

Chandy had said that the decision in this regard was not taken in a hasty manner and the matter was discussed for about five months.

As to the issue of loss of revenue for the state exchequer due to the new policy, Chandy said, "I am not taking the revenue loss of about Rs 7,000 crore lightly. However, the loss to society and drawbacks due to liquor consumption is much more than the revenue earned by the state."

The Cabinet also decided to give an Onam festival allowance of Rs 5,000 each to all the workers of the 412 bars in the state which have been already shut down. There were 7,467 employees in these bars.

As per the new policy, besides these 412 bars, notices have been issued to 312 other such establishments to close down by September 12.

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Don’t shut Kerala bars till Thursday, SC tells Chandy government

 

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday told the Kerala government not to enforce its order prohibiting functioning of non-five-star hotel bars till Thursday when the court will take up for hearing a batch of petitions challenging the ban order.

The Apex Court bench headed by Justice Anil R Dave asked the state government to keep its hands off as it would hear the matter on Thursday when it was mentioned by a battery of senior lawyers representing different petitioners.

The Kerala government has passed an order banning the sale of liquor at bars and hotels below the five-star category and the ban order comes into force September 11.

Earlier, the bar owners had approached the High Court challenging the government's decision to close over 700 bar hotels in the state maintaining it was discriminatory.

According to the petitioners all licenses should be considered as one class. Licenses granted to five star hotels and other bars cannot be treated differently.

However, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has made it clear that his government would not go back on its new liquor policy of limiting bar licenses to only 5-star hotels as part of a move to implement total prohibition in the state in 10 years' time.

Chandy had said that the decision in this regard was not taken in a hasty manner and the matter was discussed for about five months.

 

As to the issue of loss of revenue for the state exchequer due to the new policy, Chandy said, "I am not taking the revenue loss of about Rs 7,000 crore lightly. However, the loss to society and drawbacks due to liquor consumption is much more than the revenue earned by the state."

 

The Cabinet also decided to give an Onam festival allowance of Rs 5,000 each to all the workers of the 412 bars in the state which have been already shut down. There were 7,467 employees in these bars.

 

As per the new policy, besides these 412 bars, notices have been issued to 312 other such establishments to close down by September 12.

 

 

Supreme Court, Kerala government, Kerala bars, ban on bars, bar license, Oommen Chandy