Chennai, Feb 4: In a major ruling that would have an effect on the state’s income and shoppers of alcoholic drinks, the Madras Excessive Courtroom has directed the Tamil Nadu State Advertising Company (TASMAC) to shut down in six months, all of the bars established in its retail retailers throughout the State. State authorities owned TASMAC runs retail liquor shops in Tamil Nadu since 2003 and earlier than that non-public corporations had been allowed.
Bars hooked up to such retail retailers are nonetheless run by non-public events. Wholesale liquor provide can also be vested with TASMAC. Justice C Saravanan, who gave the ruling final week (January 31), additionally held that any particular person present in an intoxicated situation at a public place, needs to be punished underneath the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition Act, 1937.
The consumption of alcohol as per the Act and the principles thereunder, is permissible solely in non-public area and/or in a single’s dwelling. If TASMAC has to proceed to encourage consumption of liquor within the so-called bars, the substantive legislation underneath the Act needs to be amended, being attentive to the modifications within the society and within the mild of the choice of the Supreme Courtroom taken in 2004.
Because the apply of operating bars has been in vogue since 2003, which was not strictly in accordance with the provisions of the 1937 Act and Article 47 (coping with public well being and bringing prohibition) of the Structure, the legislature might usher in appropriate laws to amend the Act, the choose, nonetheless, mentioned.
Until the legislation is amended and correct guidelines are framed, that are in tune and in keeping with the provisions of the 1937 Prohibition Act, TASMAC shall chorus from granting licences/permits to the petitioners and others to do assist service or enterprise within the sale of snack or gathering used bottles, the choose mentioned.
TASMAC might take appropriate steps to recall the tender known as for, as an alternative of encouraging violation of legislation by its shoppers. Industrial expediency to garner revenue can’t justify the continuance of bars, the choose added. The choose gave the ruling whereas dismissing a batch of over 250 writ petitions from the erstwhile bar homeowners difficult the tender floated by the TASMAC on December 14, 2021 inviting functions for operating eateries within the ‘bars’ (hooked up to stores), numbering a number of hundreds throughout the state.
Statutorily, the TASMAC had been given powers solely to interact itself in wholesale and retail sale of liquor alone. It has not been given energy to permit shoppers to drink liquor in public or within the so known as ‘bars. It can’t be seen to encourage violation of Part 4-A of the 1937 Act, despite the fact that the intention of introducing this part was to discourage individuals from going to ‘moist’ areas and return intoxicated within the ‘dry’ areas when the prohibition was nonetheless in pressure, the choose mentioned.
The supply because it stands immediately doesn’t allow an individual to be in public in an intoxicated state. Subsequently, the respondents TASMAC as a state monopoly can solely confine itself with ‘wholesale’ and ‘retail sale’ of alcohol/liquor and can’t be allowed to be seen actively encouraging an individual to devour alcohol in public area and violate legislation. The apply of TASMAC to permit mushrooming of ‘Bar’ inside the that means of Tamil Nadu Liquor Retail Merchandising (In Retailers and Bars) Guidelines, 2003 is opposite to the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition Act, 1937, the choose mentioned and directed TASMAC to take steps to shut down the bars hooked up to the TASMAC retailers inside six months. PTI
Story first revealed: Friday, February 4, 2022, 20:30 [IST]