Tamil Nadu approaches Supreme Court challenging Madras High Court order of closing liquor shops

New Delhi: Tamil Nadu government on Saturday approached the Supreme Court challenging a Madras High Court order, which directed to shut all state-run liquor shops and only permitted online sale of liquor in the state amid the lockdown.

Tamil Nadu government on Saturday moved the Supreme Court challenging an interim judgment of the Madras high court to close liquor outlets.

“We have filed the appeal today before the apex court challenging yesterday’s Madras High Court order,” a lawyer connected to the case told ANI.

Madras High Court had, on Friday, ordered the closure of all state-run Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) liquor shops and allowed only online sale of liquor in the state.

The directions came after huge crowds gathered outside liquor shops across the state on Thursday and Friday violating social distancing norms and risking the spread of COVID-19 in the state amid the ongoing coronavirus-incuced lockdown.

“Liquor is not an essential item and ordered the closure until 17 May, when the lockdown imposed by Centre is supposed to end,” Madras High Court had said in its order.

The Madras HC had passed the order after hearing a number of petitions, including that of Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam party, which pointed out serious violations while selling liquor.

The state government had, on Thursday, opened all TASMAC liquor shops in the state following the relaxation in the lockdown guidelines. Many other states have also recently allowed state-run liquor shops to reopen.