Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday permitted 250-odd bars to function till February 10.
A Division Bench, comprising Justice K T Sankaran and Justice Babu Mathew P Joseph, issued the order while extending the status quo order with respect to their functioning.
The bench said hearing on the appeals by the state government and bar owners, challenging the judgment of single judge partially upholding the abkari policy, will commence on February 2.
Earlier, a single judge had upheld the state excise policy for 2014-15, thus paving the way for closure of over 700 bars, including the 418 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 21 in five star hotels.
The court subsequently ordered that status quo should be maintained with regard to remaining 250-odd bars. This was extended the fourth time today.