Liquor policy: SC issues notice to Kerala govt

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015,18:37 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Kerala government on a petition filed by the Bar owners to stay the new liquor policy that allows only five star hotels to serve alcohol.
A three-judge bench comprising Justices Anil R. Dave, V  Gopala Gowda and C Nagappan issued notice to the Kerala government and asked it to file a detailed reply on the  new liquor policy.
The Apex Court issued the notice after hearing a plea from the Kerala bar owners, who had challenged the state governments decision to close over 700 bar hotels in the state, arguing that it was discriminatory.
The top court also had refused to stay the order of the state High Court, which had allowed for renewed licences to ten hotels.
The Kerala government in its order earlier had stated that it was decided to close all the bars in the state with the exception in the five-star hotels as part of its new liquor free policy, by 2014.
The Court also questioned the logic behind the new liquor policy categorising bar hotels as five-star, four-star and three-star hotels for issuing bar licences.
Earlier, the Kerala High Court had ordered to renew licences to 10 hotels, but the government did not implement the order and decided to approach the SC.
Kerala had 753 bar hotels, of which 418 were closed in April last year.