Supreme Court to hear Kerala bar owners plea today


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear a batch of petitions of aggrieved owners of bars and hotels challenging Kerala government’s decision of limiting bar licences to only 5-star hotels.

The apex court on Wednesday questioned the logic behind Kerala government’s new liquor policy for limiting bar licences to only 5-star hotels as part of a move to implement total prohibition in the state in 10 years and agreed to examine it.

The SC told the Kerala government not to enforce its order prohibiting functioning of non-five-star hotel bars till Thursday when it will take up for hearing a batch of petitions challenging the ban order.

“What is the logic behind this? We don’t see any logic behind this,” the bench said.

A bunch of top lawyers including senior advocates Fali S Nariman, Ram Jethmalani, Rajeev Dhawan, CS Sunderam and Arvind Dattar, appearing for various hotels, made a strong plea to the court to stay the policy, saying it is discriminatory in nature.

The Kerala government has passed an order banning the sale of liquor at bars and hotels below the five-star category and the ban order comes into force Sep 11.

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