Madurai: Lamenting that liquor has destroyed an entire generation in Tamil Nadu, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has counseled the state government it is imperative at least now to protect future generations from the evil impact of booze.
There are surely other ways of making revenues apart from selling liquor from its TASMAC shops, the court told the government.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation from Ramkumar Adhithan of Tiruchendur seeking revision of TASMAC timings, a division bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and S S Sundar raised several questions at the government in its handling of liquor sales to make money for the state exchequer - such as whether the rules regarding the sale of alcohol are being strictly followed and if CCTV cameras have been installed in the TASMAC shops and bars.
When liquor flowed out of the TASMAC shops and bars round-the-clock, there was no point discussing the revision of timings in these establishments, said the worried judges.
In his PIL, petitioner Ramkumar pointed out that TN government had earned Rs 31,244 crore from TASMAC sales last year and it was even setting targets for liquor sales, particularly during the festival times. Also, Tamil Nadu accounted for the most number of people consuming liquor, he said, adding that the TASMAC shops functioned from 12 pm to 10 pm with bar facilities for drinking and parking lots.
Sharing the petitioner's concerns, the court told the government there surely are better ways of raising revenues. Also the villagers at their gram sabha meetings could pass resolutions against setting up TASMAC shops in their locality, said the judges while asking the government to respond to the PIL by February 28, when the petition would be taken up next for hearing....