MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court directed the State government to file counter on a public interest litigation, seeking direction for revising the working hours of TASMAC outlets in the State.
The litigant B Ramkumar Adityan, a Thoothukudi-based advocate, submitted that the State government, which is duty-bound to bring about prohibition of liquor and drugs under Article 47
of the Indian Constitution, was encouraging liquor consumption in order to get revenue.
Since the retail outlets are open between 12 noon and 10 pm, and most of the mofussil bus services to rural and urban outskirts gradually stop around 9.30 pm, people who consume liquor drive their own vehicle to return home, thereby leading to accidents, he claimed. Stating thus, he sought a series of directions from the Court including revision of the working hours of TASMAC shops and to issue strict instructions to the shops not to sell liquor to persons aged below 21 years.
A bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and S S Sundar, who heard the submissions, observed that even school students were addicted to liquor and questioned the State as to how minor were sold liquor in TASMAC shops.
They also criticised the State for providing parking facility at TASMAC shops and preaching against drunken driving. Reflecting on the sad scenario of several families being destroyed due to alcoholism, the Judges expressed that there were other means for the State to augment its income. With this, the Judges directed the government to file a counter on the case at the next hearing on February 28.
‘Can technology be used to monitor illegal mining?’
Madurai: Observing that manual supervision of illegal quarrying has proved to be futile, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court sought response from State government whether technologies can be used to monitor illegal mining. Justices N Kirubakaran and S S Sundar gave the direction while hearing a contempt petition filed by one Rajkumar of Karur against illegal sand mining activities taking place at Cauvery river basin in the district.
The Judges observed that manual supervision has proved to be futile in monitoring illegal sand mining in the State. They therefore directed the government to find out the possibility of monitoring mining activities using images obtained through satellites and drones and other advanced technologies and file a response at the next hearing on February 13. The Judges also added the Director of IIT, Chennai as respondent in the case to assist the Court with regard to the suggestion.