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Kerala HC refuses to stay govt decision to close bar hotels

Giving its approval to the state government’s new liquor policy, the Kerala High Court today declined to stay the closure of over 700 bar hotels below five star categories.

A division bench comprising Justice Thothathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice P B Suresh Kumar declined to stay the operation of the order culminating in the closure of bar hotels while dismissing a batch of appeals from bar owners.

The government had earlier declined to renew the licences of 418 bar hotels as they were not up to the standards.

The bar owners, whose licences had not been renewed, and 312 bar hotels, who were ordered to close down, had filed appeals.

The bench held that the bar owners could not make any prima facie case and they were not entitled for stay of government decision.

The court rejected their plea that the policy was ‘hatched overnight’.

Advocate General KP Dandapani informed the court that the government’s excise policy had been mentioned in the UDF manifesto itself. So, supporting materials are there is to justify the government action.

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