New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the Kerala government's liquor policy restricting service and consumption of liquor at bars in five star hotels only. The ruling was passed by the apex court bench comprising Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh.
Here are the important highlights of the SC ruling:-
-The state government's liquor policy was challenged by the Kerala Bar Hotel Association in the Supreme Court.
-In August 2014, the Kerala government announced that alcohol would be served only in five-star hotels and ordered hundreds of bars to close down.
-Under fire, the state government later made amends in December and said that other hotels and bars can also sell alcohol, but only wine and beer.
-In March this year, the Kerala High Court upheld the government order and said that the 'no-liquor policy was in line with the Constitution'.
-Tourism cannot be the only motive of any policy. Welfare and health of people is equally important: Kerala High Court had said.
-An average Kerala resident typically drinks about 8.3 liters of alcohol per year, more than double the national average.
-Rum, whiskey and brandy are Kerala's favourite tipples
-There are concerns that Kerala liquor policy might affect the tourism sector of the state that markets itself as "God's Own Country".
-Kerala earns nearly USD 3.8 billion a year from tourism.
-Kerala government has hiked excise duty on beer to five percent and that on liquor to eight per cent to offset revenue losses.
-Government-run liquor stores will be phased out more gradually over the next decade.
-Toddy, made from fermented palm-tree sap, is exempt from the ban.