KOCHI: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court will consider all the petitions challenging the State government’s ‘Abkari’ policy, including the petitions before the Single Judge, on Wednesday.
While considering a petition filed by Davis Kuriakose, joint managing partner of Hotel Airlink Castle, Nedumbassery, the Bench comprising Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice P B Suresh Kumar directed the High Court registry to list the various petitions before the Single Judge, along with the appeals filed by bar owners.
The petitioner submitted before the Division Bench that the cancellation of an existing license can only be done according to statutory provisions, and that it cannot be altered by executive orders. The government order, directing to shut down the 312 bars, was issued without the prior approval of the Cabinet, and the Cabinet ratified it only at the meeting held on August 28.
The ratification of an illegal order is not valid, hence the order will not be sustainable.
Counsel for the petitioner, K Ramkumar pointed out that the petitioner had a FL-3 licence that is above the three-star classification. Hence, he requested a separate look at cases that deal with hotels having four-star classification, which forms a classification that reaches up to the five-star category. The court recorded the submission.
The Division Bench will also consider a batch of petitions challenging the Abkari policy, and the closure notice issued by the government. The Single Judge had adjourned the cases to September 18.