Kochi (Kerala) [India], July 30 (ANI): Kerala High Court has again criticised the state government for not providing sufficient facilities for the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (BevCo) outlets or liquor outlets across Kerala.
The court stated that women and children are scared of coming near or walking past such shops which are in a shabby state. It had directed the state government and BevCo to set up liquor shops in a civilised manner and to ensure that they function in a cultured way, like any other shop.
Single Bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran said this while hearing a contempt of court petition filed against the Excise Commissioner for not complying with a court directive to shift a liquor shop on Thrissur.
The court directed had the Excise Commissioner and BevCo to inform it on August 10 of the steps taken to shift the shops and facilities available at each, including the quality of the remaining outlets. It had also directed them to ensure these outlets do not cause any disturbance or inconvenience to the general public.
The court stated, "The whole area near liquor shops were vitiated because all kinds of people were made to stand in queues for hours on end for buying liquor. People residing near the shops found it difficult to come out of their homes. Children and women were not able to walk past such shops. Please understand you are selling it to our citizens. You are not selling it to aliens. Our citizens have a basic right to be treated as citizens. Let us now have a different culture, rather than one of exhibiting our appetite for liquor on the roads."
"As an ordinary citizen, let me tell you that people are scared when such a shop comes in the vicinity. We have received so many complaints with photographs in the past weeks regarding such shops and they are shocking. The commodity sold through these shops should not be treated as contraband and should be sold just like any other commodity," it added.
Further, the court said, "Women and kids cannot walk past such shops at any point of time. Even men find it difficult to walk there. What kind of signal are we giving to society? Set up shops in a civilised manner and ensure they function in a cultured way, like any other shop, and people will not oppose it."
According to the quality audit carried out at 96 BevCo outlets, deficiencies like lack of parking facilities caused traffic blocks and insufficient space in the shop/building. (ANI)