KOCHI: Directing the government to submit the proposed abkari policy on August 26, the Kerala High Court on Thursday asked the state government to inspect the 418 closed bars and file a report regarding their standard.
A Division Bench comprising Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice P B Suresh Kumar passed the order on appeals filed by Polakkulam Bar, Kochi, and four other bar owners.
The petitions challenged the order of a Single Bench which declined to interfere in the government decision not to renew bar licences of the petitioners.
“The Secretary, Taxes and Excise Commissioner will ensure that appropriate inspection is conducted in all the 418 so-called non-standard bar hotels and a definite report about each hotel is made with a tabular statement.
It should include the views of the Excise Department and Government regarding the eligibility for renewal, notwithstanding whether renewal applications were accepted from them,” the Division Bench held.
Taking note of the time limit extended by the single judge, the High Court said that it is “sure that the Advocate General will place before the court, policy of the government on August 26.”
As many as 418 bars are considered non-standard and a Cabinet meeting on April 2 decided not to renew their licences.