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Kerala submits affidavit justifying its right to formulate new liquor policy

The decision to allow liquor license to five-star hotels was considering the interest of the tourism industry.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: September 16, 2014 5:24:37 pm
 The decision to allow liquor license to five-star hotels was considering the interest of the tourism industry. The decision to allow liquor license to five-star hotels was considering the interest of the tourism industry.

Kerala government on Tuesday submitted an affidavit in a single bench of the high court, justifying its right to formulate a new liquor policy which envisages closure of all bars in the non-five-star categories.

While hearing a bunch of petitions from bar hotel owners in Kerala, the Supreme Court had asked the state government to furnish its affidavit in the high court, which was directed to hear all petitions pertaining to the liquor license of hotels owners. Last week, the SC had stayed the closure of all bars in the non-five-start category, until September 30.

The affidavit said the government has the right to frame its liquor policy and the new one was aimed at bringing down alcohol consumption in a phased manner.  The government has right to revoke the liquor license issued to bar hotel owners in tune with its new liquor policy provided they were served with mandatory notice.

It said the government has the right to either monopolize the liquor business or go for complete prohibition. A few outlets of the state-owned Beverages Corporation were also slated for closure and it was not practical to close down all outlets at one stretch. The decision to allow liquor license to five-star hotels was considering the interest of the tourism industry.

The court would consider the petitions on September 18. Last week, the  Supreme Court had questioned the logic of allowing bars in five-star hotels.

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