SC Verdict Gives Govt. Difficult Days

  • The Supreme Court’s critical observations about the State’s liquor policy, while upholding the Kerala High Court's ruling to grant licence to 10 bars, have landed the government in fresh trouble.
  • Reserving comments on the development till he got a copy of the Supreme Court verdict, Excise Minister K. Babu did admit that the government faced a crisis owing to the courts not accepting the policy in full.
  • Mr. Babu told: The government has implemented the policy with good intention and will look into all aspects to make it legally sustainable.
  • SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan said the Supreme Court observations had left the government a laughing stock.
  • Despite being clear that phased abstinence through awareness was the way forward, the government opted for prohibition to satisfy the interests of some communities at the expense of the State exchequer
  • Kerala Bar Hotels Association State president D. Rajkumar said the Supreme Court observations had vindicated the association’s take on the issue from the very outset.
  • The association had all along maintained that closing down bars while keeping Bevco outlets open and allowing five-star hotels and clubs to run bars was not legally sustainable.
  • Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC) spokesperson Varghese Vallikattu said the government erred in drafting the liquor policy without internal contradictions.
  • C.K. Manisankar, State general secretary, Kerala Samsthana Videsha Madya Vyavasaya Thozhilali Union (CITU), said that everything hinted at a potential scenario wherein all Bevco outlets would be gradually shut down while bars would eventually open surrendering the liquor industry to private players.