Kochi: With a heated debate on whether or not to ban toddy in Kerala, the High Court on Thursday asked the government to ensure that only "natural toddy" is sold by a licensee. "Even if the sale of toddy cannot be prohibited, the least the goverment can do is to ensure that only natural toddy is sold by licensee," Justice S Sirijagan said while disposing of a petition relating to Abkari Act case.
Reacting to media reports about Excise Minister K Babu's statement that the court cannot tell the people what liqour they should drink, the judge said "if it is like that, why should there be laws like compulsory wearing of helmets?" Laws are made to protect people. Abkari Act has to be enacted for this purpose. Why there should be a licensing of sale of liqour, the court asked.
Another bench of the High Court had on September 20 asked the government to impose prohibition of toddy in the state to save the poor from the evils of alcohol and had hoped that a "bold" decision will be taken by the government in the near future. Pointing that it was "high time" that government thinks of
The High Court on Thursday asked the government to ensure that only \"natural toddy\" is sold by a licensee.
discontinuing toddy business in the state to save the poor from the evils of alcohol and prevent camouflaged sale of arrack and other spurious liqour in the name of toddy, the bench had said the main source of Abkari cases is toddy
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has also made it clear that it was not practical to enforce the High Court direction to totally ban sale of toddy, but said its goal was to bring in prohibition in a phased manner. "Banning toddy in the state is not practical to implement and government will do everything to protect the industry which employs lakhs of people," Chandy had said on Wednesday.