A bench of justices AR Dave and UU Lalit directed the state government to maintain status quo and asked the Kerala High Court to decide the petitions against liquor policy expeditiously, if possible before September 30.
    
The bench during the brief hearing agreed that drinking is a social problem but questioned why the state is not stopping it at one go rather than limiting bar licences to only 5-star hotels as part of a move to implement total prohibition in the State in 10 years.
    
The bar owners, who were present in the jampacked courtroom, came out smiling and congratulating each other, saying "cheers" after getting a breather from the Apex Court.
    
The Apex Court had yesterday agreed to grant an urgent hearing on a plea of aggrieved bar owners.

Highlights
SC levies status quo on Kerala’s new liquor policy till September 18
SC asks Kerala HC to decide expeditiously pleas challenging government’s course of action
Next date of hearing on September 18th
SC had questioned logic behind Kerala's new liquor policy for limiting bar licences to only five-star hotels
Under new policy, UDF government had last month decided to shut around 700 bars attached to hotels below five-star categories

Under the new policy, the UDF Government had last month decided to shut around 700 bars attached to hotels below five-star categories. It had directed the bar owners to shut their shops down from September 12. 

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