“Wherever it is located, it must meet public safety and security”

While ordering the closure of an IMFL outlet here within a month, the Madras High Court on Monday said that whether it was a residential or commercial building where a liquor shop is located, it should meet public safety and security.

Dismissing appeals by a flat owner in a commercial complex who had leased out his premises to a liquor shop, and the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) challenging a single Judge’s order, a Division Bench consisting of Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M. Venugopal, in its common judgment, rejected the owner’s contention that he was entitled to let out his property for profitable use. “He may be the owner of the flat, (but) that does not mean that only with a view to generating income, he can do whatever he likes, particularly at the cost of safety and security of others,” the Bench observed.

Originally, the Golden Enclave Owners Association on EVR Periyar Salai, Kilpauk, initiated writ proceedings praying to close the liquor shop with bar functioning in the basement. They submitted that theirs was an office-cum-commercial complex. Several women were working there. In and around the complex, there were several schools, hospitals and temples.

After consuming liquor, drinkers threw the bottles and garbage in the complex. In the entire complex, there was an unpleasant smell.

A single Judge allowed the writ petition. Hence, the present appeal by the flat owner, G. Vetrivel and the TASMAC Managing Director.

The Bench did not appreciate the appellants’ arguments that the bar possessed necessary licence and that if at all there was any nuisance, public interest litigation should have been filed.

“The writ proceedings are initiated by none else than the direct sufferers and they cannot be required to wait for some one to arrive from the heaven to champion their cause, ” the Bench said.

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