Kochi | The Kerala High Court today extended the interim order permitting 292 bars to function in the state until further orders. The order in this regard was issued by a division bench comprising justices K T Sankaran and Babu Mathew P Joseph while hearing appeals by bar owners and the state government against the ruling of a single judge partially upholding the current year’s Abkari policy.
The arguments in the case are continuing before the division bench. Earlier, a single judge had upheld the state excise policyfor 2014-15 thus paving the way for closure of over 700 odd bars, including the 418 bars whose licences were not renewed.
While the government had allowed bars only in hotels in the five-star category and above, on appeals by 312 bar owners, a single judge permitted 33 bars in four-star category and in 8 heritage hotels to function, besides the 21 in five star hotels. The court subsequently ordered that status quo should be maintained with regard to remaining 292 bars which was again extended today.
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