HC stays govt order on liquor distribution during lockdown


Our correspondent

The HC stayed the government order allowing for distribution of liquor and a subsequent order issued by the managing director of Kerala State Beverages Corporation (BEVCO).

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Thursday stayed the government order allowing the distribution of liquor for those with withdrawal syndromes during lockdown.

The HC verdict comes after a petition was filed by T. N. Prathapan MLA.

The HC stayed the government order allowing distribution of liquor and a subsequent order issued by the managing director of Kerala State Beverages Corporation (BEVCO).

The government order had stated that 3 litres of liquor will be provided to those with doctor’s prescription.

Doctor’s associations including IMA had opposed the move. The central government had pointed out that the move was against the norms.

The HC approved arguments that the government order is senseless and is equal to insulting the doctors. The court also agreed to the argument that alcohol addicts must be provided treatment instead of liquor.

The government issued the order to deliver liquor to houses after six persons committed suicide on not getting liquor. People with withdrawal symptoms could submit the doctor’s prescription to the excise officer’s office. And with the pass issued by the excise officer, liquor can be bought.

It is learned that the process of allotting the pass was stopped even before the court order was issued.

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