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SC upholds govt’s liquor policy, bars to remain closed

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SC upholds govt’s liquor policy, bars to remain closed
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the Kerala government's liquor policy restricting service and consumption of liquor at bars in five star hotels only.

An apex court bench comprising Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh in their judgement pronounced on Tuesday said that petitions challenging the Kerala liquor policy are dismissed and the Kerala High Court judgement sustaining the liquor policy is upheld.

The liquor policy, upheld by the apex court, allows service of liquor at bars in five star hotels only. Under the policy, the sale and consumption of liquor at the bars in hotels below five star is prohibited.

Defending the ban on the service of liquor at bars below five star hotels, Kerala government had contended that the liquor was available on the retail outlets and people can buy and drink at their homes. The state government had told the court that drinking at home with wife and children present would discourage the drinkers from pursuing the habit.

The apex court on September 11, 2014, had asked Kerala High Court to decide the challenge to the notification directing the bar owners below the five star hotels to shut their business. The high court by its March 31 order had upheld the policy, terming drinking at bars a luxury.

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