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Bars in Kerala to shut down as High Court upholds ban on alcohol

India Blooms News Service | | 30 Oct 2014, 03:22 pm
Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 30 (IBNS): The Kerala High Court has upheld the state government's "no-liquor" policy and ordered the closure of all the bars in two and three-star hotels by Thursday evening thereby giving a major blow to the bar-owners of the state, media reported.

As a result of the verdict, over 700 bars in Kerala to shut down by Thursday evening.

According to information received, there was some reprieve for four-star, five-star and heritage hotels whose licenses were not cancelled.

"Only four and five star hotels and heritage hotels can operate bars. Other bars need to shut down," the court ruled.

It has been learnt that the Kerala Bar Owners Association has decided to approach the Supreme Court to challenge the verdict.

"Unfair order, we will appeal', a Kerala bar owners association official is quoted by media as saying.

Earlier in August this year, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had announced a 10-year plan bring prohibition of serving liquor to Kerala shutting down over 700 bars across the state.

He said that only five-star hotel would be allowed to keep serving booze and even they would have to go dry on Sundays.

The bar owners had challenged the order in court.

They claimed the decision was taken in ‘haste’ and would be counter-productive as it would lose substantial revenue to the state’s exchequer, besides affecting tourism.

The Bar owners’ association had also approached the Supreme Court on the issue.

The top court had stayed the government's decision till September 30 and said that the exemption to five-stars appeared illogical.