After the the Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Madras High Court order for the closure of state-owned liquor vends in Tamil Nadu during the lockdown, the state government has issued an order on reopening of government-run TASMAC shops from Saturday.
The shops will be open every day from 10 am till 5 pm in the state, except in Chennai, Thiruvallur, shopping malls and containment zones.
The Tamil Nadu government has ordered that for sales at TASMAC shops, the token system needs to be followed and that only 500 tokens will be issued per day.
It's mandatory for all those who come to buy liquor toy wear face mask and follow social distancing norms.
A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, S K Kaul and B R Gavai, in the proceedings held through video conferencing, stayed the May 8 order of the High Court after taking note of the appeal of state government’s firm, Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC), which sells alcoholic beverages in the state.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the TASMAC, said the High Court should not have imposed its own conditions for sale of liquor by entering into the state’s domain of policy making.
He said that it was state's prerogative to decide how to conduct sale of liquor and contended that High Court cannot decide the mode of selling.
“We do not have tender services, it is impossible. How can we sell online. There are many issues regarding adulteration and other such considerations. How can we trust someone to carry liquor…," Rohatgi said.
434 new cases of Covid-19 and five deaths have been reported in the state in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases in the state to 10,108 and death toll to 71.