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Kerala HC stays govt's liquor supply order

Kerala HC stays govts liquor supply order

Kochi:  The Kerala High Court on Thursday stayed the state government order to state-owned Bevco to supply liquor at the homes to those who got prescriptions from government medical doctors about withdrawal symptoms and thus needing drinks.

Congress MP T.N. Prathapan, who approached the court, said: "Just fail to understand why the Kerala government has been so adamant on this instead of concentrating on its work to fight coronavirus spread. Giving liquor to those with withdrawal symptoms is an unpardonable act."

On Wednesday, a medical professional attached to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) wrote a letter to Kerala HC Chief Justice S. Mani Kumar to seek his intervention to withdraw the state guidelines to supply three litres of liquor every week to those showing withdrawal symptoms at their homes after they obtain government doctors' prescription.

In the letter, Dinesh said this act is illegal and immoral and requested that the letter be treated as a petition for public interest litigation.

On Tuesday, the Kerala government had directed the Excise Department and the sole wholesaler of liquor and beer in the state, Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco), that liquor should be delivered at the homes of people showing withdrawal symptoms.

The Centre had said on Wednesday that supply of liquor at homes does not come under the purview of the Disaster Management Act.

The Congress-backed Bevco staff unions on Wednesday had said its members will not do home delivery.

Bevco had said it will charge Rs 100 for home delivery of three litres of either rum or brandy for a week to the eligible persons.

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