VM Sudheeran challenges Kerala govt’s new liquor policy

Saturday, Jul 1, 2017,12:18 IST By joji A A A

Kochi | Senior Congress leader V M Sudheeran Friday moved the Kerala High Court against the state’s new liquor policy, unveiled early this month and seeking to open closed bar outlets in three-star and higher category hotels.
In his plea to the court, Sudheeran contended that the government’s decision to open closed bar outlets in three- star and higher category hotels and allowing them to serve toddy from July 1 would result in a drastic spurt of sale and consumption of liquor in Kerala.
“When the executive government evolves a policy based on fraudulent means and misleading data, the same is not immune to the judicial scrutiny, especially when it results in massive violation of fundamental rights,” said Sudheeran.
The Kerala new liquor policy was unveiled early this month.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said the policy was redrafted considering the fall in revenue and increase in the consumption of intoxicant substances.
This, he had said, was the fallout of the previous Congress-led UDF government’s liquor policy.
The UDF policy had resulted in the closure of 712 bars below the five-star category as part of its aim to ensure total prohibition in 10 years time.
A majority of these closed bars were later converted to beer and wine parlours.
Vijayan had also said that due to the closure of bars, there has been a steep fall of revenue in the tourism sector as several international conferences and conventions had been shifted out of the state.

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