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SC upholds Kerala's liquor ban of less-than-five-star hotels

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh today upheld the Kerala Government’s liquor policy which was challenged as being discriminatory.

Petitioners, who included three and four star hotels in the state, assailed the policy because it restricted the grant of bar licences to only five star hotels.

The bench apparently found merit in the state government’s argument that discrimination in favour of the five star hotels was justified on the ground of promotion of tourism, and to curb the practice of drinking among the youth of the state, who frequently visited the three and four star hotels.

The Kerala high court had upheld the policy on 31 March this year.

The high court’s judgment was under challenge by way of civil appeal in the Supreme Court.

Legally India had covered the hearing of this case exhaustively.

The judgment, when uploaded, will be analysed for its highlights.

This was the last judgment delivered by Justice Sen, before his retirement, tomorrow.

The Attorney General, Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for a four star hotel, Hotel Sky Pearl, in this case, had invited criticism that his conduct of appearing for a private party was improper.

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