The Madras High Court on Friday ordered the closure of all liquor shops run by the Tamil Nadu government, just a day after they were reopened amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, Live Law reported.
A special division bench of the court noted that there was a “blatant violation” of its guidelines regulating the sale of liquor at Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) outlets. The court, however, said that online delivery of liquor will still be allowed.
On Thursday, the same bench had refused to stay the government order allowing the sale of liquor sale but had imposed certain conditions, including not allowing the same customer to make a purchase more than twice a week and compulsory digital payments.
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, directed states to consider home delivery options or the indirect sale of liquor during the countrywide lockdown so that norms of physical distancing are not broken. The court, however, did not pass any order on the matter.
Residents in Tamil Nadu had lined up outside liquor outlets in the state as they opened after six weeks on Thursday, ignoring all physical distancing norms. About 20 lakh litres of alcohol, worth Rs 170 crore, was sold in a day, according to several reports. Huge crowds were also seen outside liquor shops in other parts of the country, sparking fears of the spread of infection.
Tamil Nadu registered 600 fresh coronavirus cases on Friday, the fifth consecutive day of a huge increase in infections, according to ANI. The state’s tally went up to 6,009.
The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 56,342 and the toll reached 1,886, according to data from the Union health ministry.