Kerala Gets Time Till Sept 17 to Make Changes in Abkari Rules

Kochi

Kerala High Court today observed that without making necessary amendments in the Excise rules, the new liqour policy of the government announced last week will not get the legal sanction and gave it time till Sept 17 to make the required changes.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Thothathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice P B Suresh Kumar made the observation while considering appeals filed by bar owners against a single judge's verdict refusing to intervene in the government's decision not to renew the licences of 418 bars.

Advocate General K P Dandapani, told the court that necessary amendments will be made in the Abkari (excise) rules to suit the new abkari policy of the government, under which it has decided to shut down 730 liquor bars, including 418 bars, attached to hotels below five star categories and make Sundays 'dry days'.

Pursuant to the court's direction, inspection has been conducted in 105 bar hotels which were closed earlier, the AG stated and also produced the new Abkari policy of the state.

The bench said the policy should find a place in the amendment.

As requested by the government, court granted time till September 17 to make the necessary amendments in the rules.

Meanwhile, another batch of petitions filed by bar hotels owners challenging the policy also came up before justice C T Ravikimar.

Government informed that the bars will be closed only after giving notice to bar owners. The case has been posted to September 18.

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