The state government on Monday sought time to file a statement on prohibiting the consumption of foreign liquor from bars before 5 pm.
The Government Pleader made the submission on an appeal filed by the state government challenging a single judge order. The single judge had ruled that the amendment to Rule 28 of the Foreign Liquor Rule was unconstitutional.
As per the amendment, FL-3 hotels functioning within a panchayat or municipality should not be kept open before 8 am and after 11 pm. The court also asked the state to restrict the sale of liquor at bar hotels in the daytime and allow sale from five pm to 12 pm.
A Division Bench Comprising Justice C N Ramachandran Nair and Justice C K Abdul Rehim on Monday observed that the order was to accomplish the goal of the state to reduce alcohol consumption.
In many hotels, women serve liquor, which is a disturbing trend. Liquor sale and consumption should be prohibited during working hours, the court said.
The court posted the case to September 20, and asked the state to immediately file a statement on the issue.
The court further asked the state to consider prohibiting the sale of toddy during working hours so that alcohol consumption can be reduced, which would ultimately lead to achieving total prohibition.
If the government is sincere in cutting down alcohol consumption among the public and bring order in society, the first step should be to permit liquor sale in bar hotels only after 5 pm. If this is brought about, nobody would drink during working hours, the court held.