Hotel and bar owners in Kerala have challenged before the Supreme Court the ruling UDF government's directive on closing over 700 liquor outlets in the state. The closure was part of the government’s long-term plan to make the state a dry one.
Terming the government order "discriminatory and arbitrary", the petitioners have argued that the state government failed to give a proper hearing to them before issuing the order. The controversial decision, to be effective from September 12, seeks to achieve total prohibition in Kerala by 2024. Of the 383 state-owned retail liquor shops, 10 % will shut down every year.
Except the bars in 5-star hotels, all other liquor joints will close by Friday, a decision that has been challenged in the Kerala High Court. Besides, all Sundays in Kerala will be dry days from October 2 this year.