The Kerala government on Wednesday told the High Court that changes are necessary in the liquor policy. The government also told the court that it was natural to have changes in the policy on the basis of new situations and facts.
In the meantime, advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the government, completed the hearing on behalf of the government.
When the court asked whether there was any scientific study in forming the policy, the government told the court that it was based on a report filed by a single member commission.
The government also sought legal opinion on the moves to make as the current term of bar licenses are set to expire on March 31.
The bar licenses are granted based on the Foreign Liquor (FL) 3 licence. According to the liquor policy, only bars with Five Star status can function in the state. But a few bars without the Five Star status have been allowed to function after they obtained court verdicts in their favour.
The government had decided to issue beer and wine parlour licences to the 418 bars that had been closed down. In the meanwhile, the government has also sought legal opinion to decide the on the case of the Three Star bars, and also on the steps to take after the court issues its verdict.
On the other hand, the clubs that have applied for new bar licenses are likely to be given wine and beer parlour licence. The government is also considering the increase of licence fees for bars.
Reacting to the news, Excise Minister K. Babu said that the government will take further steps regarding bar licences only according to the direction of the court. He also said that a verdict was expected before March 31.