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Updated: March 10, 2014 02:12 IST

Ex-judge shows the way to eradicate liquor shops

Mohamed Imranullah S.
Comment (9)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
The cover page of a handbook penned by K. Chandru, former judge of the Madras High Court. Photo: S. James
The Hindu The cover page of a handbook penned by K. Chandru, former judge of the Madras High Court. Photo: S. James

Among other things, K. Chandru’s handbook offers tips on how to file cases

A former judge of the Madras High Court K. Chandru has penned a handbook in Tamil to guide those interested in eradicating liquor shops in their localities through legal means. The book, written in a question-answer format, has been published by Vizhi, a forum established with the aim of enforcing prohibition in the State.

According to Gnani Sankaran, a popular Tamil writer and coordinator of Vizhi, the need for educating the masses about legal avenues available to eradicate liquor shops had arisen in view of a recent survey conducted by the Madras Medical College.

The survey results showed that around 11 per cent of children between the age of 14 and 16 had taken to liquor consumption.

Hence, the forum chose Mr. Chandru who had ordered closure of many liquor shops during his tenure as a judge between July 2006 and March 2013.

In one of his judgments, he held that the interest of children was more important than the revenue of Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC), a State Government enterprise involved in sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor in the State.

In the handbook, the former judge states that though people hold protests to shift liquor shops from their residential localities, such agitations do not go beyond finding some space and time in the media. And only a handful of such shops get shifted through court orders because many do not approach the courts fearing expenditure.

Hence, the book provides solutions to all such problems by explaining in detail issues relating to the role of TASMAC, how it was established by a quixotic interpretation of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition Act 1937, legal remedies available to the people having to deal with liquor shops, whom to approach, how to obtain funding for filing cases in courts and much more.

Elsewhere in The Hindu's website there is a news heading, "Cases of
delayed justice pile up in lower courts" that begins with the heart-
rending case of a deaf and dumb girl whose rape trial is yet to begin
even after 14 years! Yet Honb'le Justice Chandru has hopes of people
"eradicating liquor shops in their localities through legal means". If
one does not encounter the legal system as a litigant, one would not
have an appreciation of how utterly rotten the system has become. The
state of TN's legal system is best captured in the recent news item,
"Chief Justice Agrawal says several Madras high court judges want to
seek transfer to other HCs"

from:  V. Vanamaliv
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 17:50 IST

This is a laudable effort.

It has been proven time and again over the last century in many countries, that prohibition does not work. But I do not like TASMAC either, and should go. What is the State doing in the liquor business, other than to amass fortunes on the back of the poor to fund populist programs (for the poor, in order to "buy" votes) by offering free "this" and free "that".

In addition, the environment around these TASMAC shops is indescribable. Also heard that you can buy anything at anytime at black-market prices.

What TN needs to do is to privatize this whole business, where liquor can be sold in decent stores during fixed hours of the day/night. Of course sales to minors should be prohibited.

Can't we learn from other countries. In many countries liquor is sold in stores and mini-marts, and there is no fuss. For example 7-11 in many countries is a classic example.

You cannot force someone to stop drinking. But the sales can be managed in a meaningful manner

from:  Ram Todatry
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 17:19 IST

This book should be available in all languages.
The liquour shops cause many problem for women.

from:  Abhinav
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 15:26 IST

That's great effort. People need a heart-surgery(merely a mystic one!)
to come out of liquor-addiction.

from:  Momin
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 13:44 IST

This is really an effective social work by a socially responsible person. Thanks to Mr.Chandru for this invaluable timely work.

from:  Yila
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 12:19 IST

I had a wry smile when I read, "legal remedies available to the people
having to deal with liquor shops, whom to approach, how to obtain funding
for filing cases in courts and much more." Given the pathetic state our
legal and administrative systems are in (monumental corruption and
incompetence), one will have to wait for eternity after filing a case (it
is not so much expenditure as delay that is preventing people from filing
cases). In the case of TASMAC shops, several protests across TN have taken
place, but how many shops have been shifted? The handbook, while
laudable, won't be of much use in practice.

from:  V. Vanamali
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 11:09 IST

IT IS VERY GOOOD EFFORT MY SALUTE ALL THOSE BEHIND THIS TASK.
HOPE THIS BOOK IS AVAIALBE TO EVERYONE.CONTACTS SHOULD HAV BEEN PROVIDED.

from:  kumar
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 10:07 IST

Vaiko's MDMK and Tamilaruvi Manian (writer, speaker) have done on pada yatras in favor of total prohibition. In one of the speeches, Mr.Manian explains the TASMAC economics (and other freebies) very well.

I suggest that these organizations join hands and work for this worthy cause.

from:  shiva
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 07:30 IST

May His(lord ship's)tribe multiply.The young husband (40)living with his
wife(wed out of Love,not arranged marriage is what I mean)and two kids
and his mother,occupy what we see a hell hole.Beating his better half
(except on the 8th day of the week)spending all his earnings to
TASMACH,is a pitiable,horrowing experience.Hearing the shreiks of the
young wife out of pain,but serene as if nothing happened while on way to
her work to keep the hearth of the home warm are miserable sights.

from:  K P Natarajan
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 07:01 IST
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