The Madras High Court on Thursday made it clear that its November 16, 2016, judgment that no liquor shops could set up if there was an objection from the residents or a resolution of panchayat gram sabha against a liquor outlet, was to the particular facts of the case only.
The first bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar gave the order on a PIL by one U Vignesh seeking a direction to permanently close a liquor outlet opened along the state highway at Thadaperumbakkam Village. Vignesh submitted that the village panchayat had passed on May 1, 2017 a resolution stating that no other TASMAC (Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation) Shop should be opened in the village.
He submitted that about 11,000 people were residing in the village and already a liquor shop was situated in Thiruvottiyur High Road. But without considering it the authorities took steps to open another outlet near the residential area Samudiswari Nagar on May 8. However, after a protest by villagers it was sealed by Tahsildar on May 13. Later it was again opened on May 25.
The village panchayat had passed a resolution at Special Grama Sabha held on May 1 that the authorities should not open any TASMAC shop in the village panchayat limit. He submitted the authorities were arbitrarily functioning
by opening the shop against the interests of village people and Panchayat Grama Sabha resolution, and sought for a
direction from the court to close liquor outlet.
The bench said the petitioner has not adverted to any specific rule which has been violated in setting up a liquor outlet. “It is contended that the TASMAC shop has been opened on a state highway in contravention of the Judgment of Supreme Court. The Additional Advocate General had submitted that the location of the shop in question is not in violation of the order of Supreme Court” the bench said dismissing the petition.