A Judge of the Kerala High Court today recused himself from a batch of cases relating to renewal of bar licenses in the state and recalled his judgement shortly before it was to be pronounced, observing that he was approached by a counsel.

Justice C T Ravikumar was hearing a batch of 50 petitions relating to renewal of licenses of 418 bars in different parts of the state continuously till April 11, the last working day after which the court closed for summer vacation.

In an order on Tuesday, taking everyone by surprise, Justice Ravikumar said he was avoiding hearing the case. ‘Common judgement in the case is yet to be signed’, the judge said adding he was recalling the judgement.

According to the Judge, a counsel K Thavamony, came to his residence on Monday and “attempted to speak” about the issue touching the case.

The judge said it was open to petitioners to move the vacation court for further orders.

The state government had put on hold renewal of the licenses of 418 bars as they were found to be substandard and yet to upgrade their facilities.

The Justice Ramachandran Commission, which is looking into the Abkari Policy of the state, had suggested the government should notify that licenses of bar hotels that do not come under the three-star or four star category would not be renewed after the expiry of existing licenses.