It is for govt. to take a call on increasing number of outlets, Kerala High Court tells Bevco

The Kerala High Court on Thursday observed that it was for the State government to take a call on increasing the number of liquor outlets in the State.

Justice Devan Ramachandran made the observation when the Counsel for Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) submitted that the government must be directed to increase the number of outlets to meet the need of a large number of consumers. Unlike in other States, only 270 Bevco outlets were now functioning in the State, causing overcrowding in front of the shops.

The court added that it could not “accede to the submission of the Bevco” as it was for the State government and the Excise Commissioner to take necessary action on the issue.

S. Kannan, Government pleader, submitted that the Excise Commissioner was in the process of overhauling the shops. In fact, 32 liquor shops would be relocated while 57 others had been asked to be upgraded and given additional facilities.

The court also said that it was the responsibility of the Excise Commissioner to ensure that people who come to buy liquor were not treated like ‘cattle’ and people who walked past these outlets were not ridiculed.

The court made these observations when a contempt of court case against the Excise Commissioner and others for their failure to comply with a court directive to shift a liquor shop in Thrissur came up for hearing.

The court also directed the State government and the Becvo to look into a letter received by the High Court from a woman from Ramamangalam town in Ernakulam district regarding shifting of an outlet to a busy area. The letter said that women and children would be scared to walk along the road near the outlet if it was shifted to the new place.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 6:10:12 PM |

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