The Madras High Court on Tuesday granted an interim injunction restraining the Tamil Nadu government from opening or relocating state run TASMAC liquor shops along national or state highways.
The government-run liquor shops were closed following a Supreme Court ban that took effect on April 1. Further, no liquor shop should be located within 500 metres of the outer edge of national or state highway.
However, on April 21, the Commissioner of Municipal Administration department directed all Corporations and Municipalities to adopt resolutions to bring stretches of highways passing through their territory under the direct control of urban local bodies.
Municipal Administration’s move was considered to circumvent the Supreme Court’s March 31 order and DMK and PMK approached the court against it.
Senior advocate P Wilson for DMK and advocate K Balu for the PMK forum sought an urgent hearing on the issue during the lunch motion, a request which was granted by the Madras HC.
Advocate General R Muthukumaraswamy cited the Punjab example, saying after the administration wanted to change the nomenclature of roads, Haryana High Court had upheld the decision and the Supreme Court was yet to pass orders on the matter.
The bench, after hearing the AG, said it was constrained to pass the order as he could not give an undertaking that efforts to reclassify highways would not lead to reopening of closed TASMAC outlets and bars. It then posted the matter to July 10.