Intend to prohibit liquor in phased manner: Kerala govt to HC

 Total prohibition or complete liberalisation of liquor was not its policy, the state government today told the Kerala High Court.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 25, 2015, 20:34 PM IST

Kochi: Total prohibition or complete liberalisation of liquor was not its policy, the state government today told the Kerala High Court.

Arguing on behalf of the state on a batch of appeals against its liquor policy for 2014-15 before a division bench, senior Supreme Court lawyer Kapil Sibal said the government intends to prohibit liquor in a phased manner and the state should be given freedom to enforce it.

Justifying Kerala government's controversial liquor policy, Sibal said that by introduction of the new policy, the state has brought some restriction on consumption of alcohol.

While presenting its view, the government said it framed the liquor policy after a scientific study by a one-man Commission on consumption of liquor in the state.

The division bench, consisting of Justice K P Sankaran and Babu Mathew P Joseph, is hearing the appeals by bar owners and the state government against the order of a single judge who modified the liquor policy of the state, allowing four-star and heritage hotels also to run liquor bars while upholding its decision to close down bars run by three-star hotels.

The state had banned bars in all hotels below five-star status.