An interim injunction was granted today by Madras High Court, effectively restraining the relocation of state run TASMAC liquor shops along state and national highways, as proposed by the Tamil Nadu government. The restraining order will be applicable for three months, after which further decision will be taken. The order was announced by a bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar.
The interim injunction was issued after hearing petitions filed by DMK leader R S Bharati and Advocates Forum for Social Justice. The petition was filed after a recent circular of Commissioner of Municipal Administration, which had asked all the Municipal Corporations and Municipalities to include roads of the state and national highways within their limits. The petition pointed out that the circular was meant to bypass the Supreme Court directive on location of liquor shops. The petition mentioned that it was a misuse of power.
Advocate General R Muthukumaraswamy provided the example of Punjab, where such change in the nomenclature of roads has already been approved by Haryana High Court. However, Madras High Court bench said that it would have to pass the interim injunction order since it cannot be guaranteed that reclassifying highways would not lead to reopening of closed TASMAC outlets and bars.