CHENNAI: The state-run Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) has informed the Madras High Court that 325 retail liquor vending shops in the state have been identified as being located within a prohibited area.
TASMAC had in September last year submitted that there were 900 such shops.
In the affidavit filed by TASMAC, it was mentioned that there were 6,200 retail liquor vending shops in the state, which have been identified and measurements have been carried out as per the Tamil Nadu Survey and Boundaries Act.
However, it recently submitted that 325 shops have been identified, which may be in violation of Rule 8 of the Tamil Nadu Liquor Retail Vending (in Shops and Bars) Rules.
The matter relates to a PIL filed by social activist A Narayanan to declare Rule 8 (1) of the Tamil Nadu Liquor Retail Vending (in Shops and Bars) Rules as unconstitutional.
As per the PIL, the rule lays down that "No shop shall be established in Municipal Corporations and Municipalities within a distance of 50 metres and in other areas 100 metres from any place of worship or educational institutions" and adds that "provided that the distance restriction shall not apply in areas designated as "Commercial or Industrial" by the Development and Town Planning Authorities."
In the recent counter affidavit TASMAC submitted that pursuant to the orders Court, all District Collectors were requested to constitute survey teams headed by Inspector of survey to measure the distance between the Retail vending shop and the nearest educational institution/place of worship as per Tamil Nadu Survey and Boundaries Rules, 1925.
The State Government had also ordered closure of 500 vending shop on Februuary 20, the affidavit submitted.
The First bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice R Mahadevan posted the matter for further hearing after a month on the request of the Government seeking one more month's time to comply the couly order.