Counsel claimed that the Tasmac shop was established in the village despite opposition from the villagers

The Madras High Court bench here has passed an order directing the Kanyakumari district administration and the Tasmac administration to remove a Tasmac shop from Sangurutti village in Kanyakumari district.

A division bench comprising Justices N. Paul Vasanthakumar and P. Devadass issued the direction based on a public interest litigation filed by G. Kanaga Bai, district committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and State committee member of the All India Democratic Women’s Association.

In her petition, Ms. Bai claimed that the Adaikakuzhi village panchayat had passed a resolution on July 12, 2013 opposing the Tasmac administration’s proposal to establish a liquor shop in Sangurutti. The villagers met the district collector on July 12 and submitted a representation opposing the proposal on the grounds that there was a nursing college, a temple, two churches and a school located near the site where the Tasmac shop was to be set up, the petitioner’s counsel K. Vinayagan claimed.

The counsel claimed that the Tasmac shop was established in the village despite opposition from the villagers. The public had staged an agitation and the Tasmac shop was closed for a few days. But the shop was re-opened and continues to function with police protection, he claimed.

On the directions of the court, M. Muniyasamy, the standing counsel for Tasmac, submitted a report claiming that there was no temple, educational institution or hospital near the Tamac shop.

In their order, the judges observed that the resolution passed by the village panchayat on July 12, 2013 should be given due consideration.

“The fact that the liquor shop is being run with police protection establishes that the people are not cooperating for the sale of liquor in their village. The action of the authorities reflects their determination to sell liquor to the public at any cost”, the judges noted.

The division bench had passed a similar order on August 6, 2013, forbearing the Virudhunagar district manager of Tasmac from opening a liquor shop at Vadamalapuram village near Sivakasi.

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