Thiruvananthapuram/ Kannur: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Thursday said the High Court order was a recognition of the state government's excise policy.
Rejecting the stand that the court allowing bars attached to four-star category hotels was a setback to the government, he said only around 60 bars were allowed to function now.
"This cannot be seen as partial recognition of the liquor policy," Chandy told reporters.
Opposition leader V.S. Achuthanandan, however, said the High Court verdict was a setback because the government had earlier only allowed five-star hotel bars, but with this verdict, now four-star hotel bars can also be kept open.
Kerala High Court today upheld the state government's new excise policy directing closure of bars in two and three-star hotels. However, the court allowed the hotels in the four-star and heritage categories to run bars though the state government had banned bars in all hotels below the five-star status.
Pronouncing the judgement on a batch of petitions filed by Kerala Bar Owners against the state government's decision to close down bars in hotels, Justice K Surendra Mohan held that "the challenge made against the policy by hotels classified as two-star and three-star fails."