HC asks State to reveal its stand on Tasmac shops


The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday asked the State to reveal its stand on Tasmac shops. The court refused to accept the counter affidavit filed by Tasmac and observed that it wanted the State government to respond to the queries instead.

A Division Bench of Justices N. Kirubakaran and S. S. Sundar, taking a serious note of the liquor menace, observed that it was the mother of all crimes. No policy decision could violate Article 21 of the Constitution (Protection of Life And Personal Liberty), the court said.

The court asked if the State could generate alternative income in place of Tasmac shops, either by increasing tax or introducing a new tax. The court allowed the State to respond to the queries after the Lok Sabha election.

The court was hearing a batch of public interest litigation petitions that sought a direction to the State to close down Tasmac shops. It adjourned the Tasmac-related matter till April 23 for further hearing.

The court had already asked the State if Tasmac shops across Tamil Nadu were being closed in a phased manner, as per the election manifesto. Further, it asked the State to provide a district-wise breakup of the number of Tasmac shops that existed prior to 2016 and those which were opened after 2016. It also sought the number of shops closed after 2016 and the income through Tasmac shops.

It may be recalled that Justice N. Kirubakaran had recently observed, “The Father of the Nation fought for prohibition throughout his life. There is no meaning in calling Mahatma Gandhi as the Father of the Nation without following his core principle.” The court hoped that the State would bring back prohibition that was in force from 1937 to 1971.

The court had made the observation while enhancing compensation awarded by a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal to the family of a deceased, run over by a TNSTC bus while crossing the road in an intoxicated state.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 3:23:09 PM |

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