Kochi: Kerala High Court on Tuesday permitted 312 liquor bars attached to hotels in the state to function till December 12.
Extending the status quo order granted earlier on a batch of appeals by the Bar owners, a bench comprising Justice K T Sankaran and Justice P D Rajan allowed 312 bars to function till December 12.
Earlier, a single judge had upheld the state excise policy for 2014-15 thus paving the way for closure of over 700 odd bars, including the 418 bars whose licenses were not renewed.
While the government had allowed bars in only hotels in five star category and above, on appeals by 312 bar owners, a single judge permitted 33 bars in four star category and in eight heritage hotels to function, besides the 21 in five star hotels.
The judge while upholding the Excise policy, had made it clear that hotels classified as four star and heritage were entitled to bar license.
Challenging the decision to permit bars in four star and heritage hotels as 'untenable and unsustainable', the government has also filed an appeal which was admitted by the bench today.
Despite the persistent request of state government to stay the single judge order, the bench declined to accept the same.
The appeal will be heard from Dec 3 onwards.