THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government has decided to issue 15 days’ notice for revoking the licences of 292 bars out of the 312 functioning in the state. The notices,to be issued under Rule 36 of the Foreign Liquor Rules, will be issued on Thursday and 292 bars will be shuttered on September 12,Excise Minister K Babu said after a high-level meeting of officers here on Tuesday. Twenty bars in the state have five-star licences. In effect,all the 312 bars already functioning will remain open during Onam.
The decision was taken after Advocate-General K P Dandapani gave a legal opinion that 15 days’ notice shall be given to cancel the licence in consonance with the existing Foreign Liquor Rules though the licences were renewed in the current financial year provisionally with a rider that it was subject to the new abkari policy of the government.
The AG had said the government is bound to give sufficient notice before revoking/cancelling an FL3 licence already granted for conducting a business. Babu said legal opinion was sought after criticism was raised by some quarters that the move to close down bars without issuing notices for it was meant to help bar owners.
It was also decided to
simplify rules under Rule 33 of FLR and bring out a separate notification for transferring existing stock of foreign liquor in the custody of all bars. The stocks will include those in the 418 bars which are shuttered since April 1 and another two bars the licences of which were not renewed by owners this year. More: P4