Crowding at public places, liquor shops should not be allowed; Health is more important than revenue: Kerala High Court

8th July,2021

Crowding at public places, liquor shops should not be allowed; Health is more important than revenue: Kerala High Court



The Kerala High Court ordered the state to produce a thorough report on the failure to follow the Covid procedure outside the state-run Beverage Corporation (Bevco) liquor outlets in Kerala on Wednesday (Adv. K Vijayan Vs State of Kerala, Suo Motu Vs. State of Kerala). The court also ordered the Excise Commissioner to file a thorough declaration about the stores' inability to follow the Covid Protocol standards. While issuing the directives, a Division Bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly reprimanded the State, saying, "Kerala is now ranked first in Covid 19 cases. On the one hand, the government is attempting to limit the number of Covid cases by implementing suitable measures, such as vaccination. Simultaneously, crowding in public spaces, notably in liquor stores, should be prohibited. Revenue is less significant than one's health. After a High Court Judge addressed a letter to the Chief Justice regarding the issue of overcrowding outside Kerala State Beverages Corporation (KSBC) outlets in violation of COVID-19 protocol, the Bench issued these directions on a petition filed by advocate K Vijayan and a suo motu petition initiated by the Court. Several images of massive groups and individuals standing in lengthy lines outside liquor stores were included to a letter written by a judge of the Court. The Court noted that social separation is clearly neither maintained or enforced after viewing these photos. Furthermore, these establishments are positioned along public roadways and near residential buildings, placing other people in danger. According to State Attorney N Manoj Kumar, the government has already provided suitable orders for the opening of these businesses and the preservation of Covid protocol, including social separation. Several images of massive groups and individuals standing in lengthy lines outside liquor stores were included to a letter written by a judge of the Court. The Court noted that social separation is clearly neither maintained or enforced after viewing these photos. Furthermore, these establishments are positioned along public roadways and near residential buildings, placing other people in danger. According to State Attorney N Manoj Kumar, the government has already provided suitable orders for the opening of these businesses and the preservation of Covid protocol, including social separation. Despite the fact that the Central and State governments have issued periodic directives addressing the Covid protocol rules, the Court found that they do not appear to be followed in letter and spirit in some areas, particularly liquor stores. It was also pointed out that any breach in observing the limits will be taken seriously, as stated in the State's regulations specifically addressing the opening of Bevco outlets.