Supreme Court upholds Kerala Government’s revised liquor policy

Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015,11:35 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has upheld the Kerala government’s revised liquor policy.

Delivering its judgment Tuesday on a batch of pleas by bar owners and bar employees against the Kerala High Court’s decision upholding the liquor policy, a two-member bench of the top court made it clear that liquor sale is not a fundamental right.

The court rejected the petition and all the arguments put forward by the petitioners, while admitting the points raised by the state government in the case. Kapil Sibal appeared in the court on behalf of the Kerala Government.

Bar owners filed a revision petition in the Supreme Court after the state High Court and a Supreme Court bench upheld the government’s revised liquor policy.

In August, the top court bench had reserved the verdict to a later date after the counsel for the state and the Kerala Bar Hotels Association concluded their arguments in the case.

The bar owners, in their plea, had contended that the Kerala Government’s new liquor policy, announced on 2014 August 20, was discriminatory. They argued that the government’s policy denying bar license to three-star and four-star hotels would lead to a situation where only the well-heeled have access to alcohol.

Tuesday’s court verdict means the status quo will continue. Only the 27 five-star bars that have been licensed will operate in the state.