Kerala HC quashes Sudheeran’s circular

Published on: 03 Mar, 2015
Published under: General Kerala News, Politics News Kerala

On Monday the Congress state president V M Sudheeran suffered another setback with the high court observing that his circular to the party-ruled local bodies not to grant no objection certificate (NOC) for liquor bars was illegal and unconstitutional.

Earlier last month, bar hotel owners in Kerala had ‘exposed’ Sudheeran’s anti-liquor stand, saying that he had once enjoyed the favours of the bar barons. They alleged that Sudheeran had used the vehicle of a bar hotel owner in Thrissur for several years. Sudheeran had not denied the allegation, but said it was meant to dampen his fight against liquor.

The observation came from the division bench of the high court, which nullified the decision of Congress-ruled Maradu municipality not granting permission for a prominent hotel to run bar citing the circular from Sudheeran. Earlier, a single bench had quashed the municipality decision against the hotel and subsequently, the local body moved the appeal.

After he assumed office as the party state president last year, Sudheeran had issued a circular to all Congress-led, UDF-ruled local governing bodies not to give no objection certificate to hotels to run bars. A few years ago, the government had made it mandatory that the hotels which get liquor licence should also get the consent of the respective local bodies before start functioning.

Clutching on to Sudheeran’s directive, several local bodies had denied NOC to hotels to run bars. Recently, Congress members in Kanhangad municipality in Kasargode district and Mukkom village panchayat in Kozhikode district had faced disciplinary action from Sudheeran on the ground that these local bodies granted permission for bar hotels.

On Monday, the division bench of Justice Antony Dominic and Alexander Thomas ruled that the municipality was not bound to obey the directive of Congress state president. The asked the municipality to grant permission for the applicant hotel to run bar.

The court observed that the Congress state president was acting above the Constitution. With this high court order, several hotels in Congress-ruled local bodies would start operating bars.


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