CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the State government to consider handing over financial aid only to womenfolk so that the goals of the financial aid are met and its purpose served.
The First Bench comprising Chief Justice S K Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana disposed of the PIL praying for a direction to the state government to suspend retail vending of TASMAC liquor for two months in the flood-affected districts of Tamil Nadu.
The petitioner contended that if the relief is given to men folk, it will, in all probability, be spent on liquor bought through TASMAC outlets. In this connection, the activist referred to a report on ‘Alcoholism Before And After Tsunami’, which vouched for his apprehensions. Most of the aid given after the December 26, 2004, tsunami was ultimately spent on liquor bought from TASMAC outlets with material being either sold or pledged in pawn shops, he said.
“The issue raised by the petitioner was recently dealt with by us (in another PIL). We had observed that this is a matter of policy for the government to examine. The present petitioner appearing in person submits that his apprehension is that the succour which is being provided to the affected people could be dissipated in consumption of liquor rather than rehabilitation. On our query as to what could be the methodology to ensure that such a thing does not happen, one of the suggestions was that the financial amount could possibly be released to the women in the families rather than to the men. We may note that the petitioner has filed a research study published in 2006 titled ‘Alcoholism Before and After Tsunami’ and in view thereof, has submitted a representation dated December 8, 2015, to the state government. This representation can thus be examined in terms of the research study or any other material. The aforesaid matter being a policy decision, the state government should look into the matter,” the Bench said and closed the matter.