SC upholds Kerala's Liquor ban
The Supreme Court has upheld the Kerala government’s new excise plan binding the sale and consumption of liquor only in five-star hotels, thereby requiring other liquor bars to close down business.
The SC bench said that even “unreasonable restrictions” by the State cannot be challenged by liquor traders.
The judgment sets a judicial precedent for other states looking to ban liquor.
21 Aug 2014: Kerala bids adieu to alcohol
Kerala with the highest alcohol consumption in India has announced an extensive clampdown on liquor to free the state of alcohol in 10 years.
CM Oommen Chandy announced that Kerala will restrict liquor bars only to five-star hotels.
From 1 April 2015, Sundays will become 'dry days'.
The decision was approved by Kerala Congress and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).
Fact: Women want the liquor ban
There are a number of people who think the ban is necessary, and a majority of them are women. Reports have highlighted that there has been a 31% decrease in domestic violence due to alcohol after the implementation of the ban.
14 Aug 2015: Attorney General Rohatgi: Liquor ban reeks of bias
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the SC that the ban only impacted the ordinary man and left out the affluent.
Mr. Rohatgi questioned the State's liquor ban to exempt only five-star hotels from the ban.
Mr. Rohatgi said the Kerala government should either follow the Gujarat example of total prohibition or none at all, or instead increase the tax for all.
29 Aug 2015: The argument against the ban
Most hoteliers lashed out calling the ban 'unfair'. They said that in its present form the ban consolidates all the profit from the liquor business in the hands of a few rich people.
They contended that this will encourage the sale of illicit liquor manufacture and the ban won't address the issue of excessive alcoholism and would also, lead to increased drug abuse.
1 Apr 2015: Kerala HC upholds's government's liquor policy
The Kerala HC approved the new liquor policy of the Kerela Congress government, making way for the closure of all liquor bars.
From 2 April onwards, only 24 five-star hotels in Kerala will have the licence to serve Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL).
The HC allowed 300-odd bar hotels to function as beer parlours but asked the 4-stars and heritage hotels to stop selling liqour.