Kerala HC raps state govt over overcrowding in front of liquour vends amid covid spread

Kochi, Jul 08 (PTI):
The Kerala High Court on Thursday rapped the State government over the overcrowding in front of the state-run Beverages Corporation’s(BEVCO) outlets amid the pandemic and asked it’s MD and the State excise commissioner to file a report on the steps taken to reduce the crowd.
Justice Devan Ramachandran, who heard the matter today, said customers lining up in front of liquor shops and spilling over to public spaces and roads, was certainly an affront to the dignity of a society as a whole. The court asked the state government tomake sure that sufficient facilities are given to the customers so that they can make their choice of purchase of liquor in a civilised manner like any other commodity. Justice Ramachandran said the endeavour of the court was not to find fault but to ensure a nagging problem that the state has been facing for the last several years be resolved in the most effective manner. “When customers line up in front of liquor shops and spill over to public spaces and roads, it certainly is an affront to the dignity of a society as a whole.As far as the customer is concerned, he is put to a great amount of humiliation, which he is forced to endure because thesale of liquor isvirtually a monopoly at the hands of Bevco,” the judge said.
He said it becomes the absolute duty of the government to make sure that sufficient facilities are given to the customers so that they can make their choice of purchase of liquor in a civilised manner like any other
commodity and “then leave the counters without their self-respect being compromised”.

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