SC orders Kerala to wait till Sep 30 on new liquor policy

scThe Supreme Court on Thursday delayed the Kerala government decision on cancelling liquor licences and closing bars from Sep 12 to at least Sep 30.

Kerala had earlier decided to cancel liquor licenses and close down 730 bars in the state, in a move ahead to completely making the state dry in the next 10 years. Only 5 star hotels will be permitted to sell the alcohol. The decision was to be implemented from Sep 12 but the Supreme Court ordered status quo till September 30.

The Bench comprising Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice U.U. Lalit left it to the Kerala High Court, where a hearing is scheduled for September 18 on the affected bar owners’ challenge against the ‘unfair’ implementation of the foreign liquor policy, to decide the future course.

“If it (drinking) is a social problem, then stop for everybody. This has gone on for years. Why stop it abruptly? If you (State government) think this is a bad thing, stop it. But do it for everyone”, the Bench said to Kapil Sibal, Counsel for Kerala.

Medaram Jathara

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