Chennai: Throughout the state, 325 Tasmac shops, identified as being located within the prohibited area of places of worship or educational institutions, was closed on February 24.
R. Kirlosh Kumar, managing director of Tasmac, stated this in his affidavit filed before the Madras high court recently. Originally, A. Narayanan, a journalist filed a Public Interest Litigation seeking to declare the 50 to 100-meter restriction to establish liquor vends from designated places as unconstitutional.
Narayanan also sought a direction to the authorities to ensure that no liquor shop or bar or pub or such other establishment serving liquor was located within 500 metres in municipal corporations and municipalities and 1,000 metres in other rural areas of any educational institutions, hospital, place of worship, bus stand and in a residential area.
In his present affidavit, Kirlosh Kumar submitted that this court by order dated March 17, 2016, had directed that survey officers have to be appointed to measure the distance of the retail vending liquor shops from the nearest places of worship or educational institutions and to complete the process within 6 months and to take necessary steps to shift the shops wherever required within 6 months from the date of the survey report.
During the hearing on September 16, 2016, this court had directed that even if an educational institution/place of worship had come into existence subsequent to the establishment of the retail vending shop, the shop must be shifted and the same cannot be claimed as an exemption.
Accordingly, the team of officials, who inspected the shops and conducted an enquiry, submitted their report. Throughout the state, 325 shops have been identified as being located, in violation of Rule 8 (1) of the Tamil Nadu liquor vending (in shops and bars) Rules. Meanwhile, the state government had ordered the closure of 500 shops by a G.O dated February 20, 2017. To comply with this G.O, 500 shops was closed on February 24, 2017, this includes the 325 outlets found to be violating the distance restriction. Since all the 325 shops, which were located in violation of Rule 8 (1), he prayed to close further proceedings in the petition.