Kerala unhappy as Attorney General appears for bar owners in SC

Thiruvananthapuram, July 11 (IANS) The ruling Congress as well as opposition parties in Kerala have expressed resentment after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi appeared in the Supreme Court on behalf of bar owners opposing the state’s new liquor policy.

The office of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in a press release issued here on Saturday said he will be writing a strong letter to the prime minister on Monday protesting the Attorney General’s conduct.

“What’s more surprising is that the Attorney General appeared after taking permission of the Centre, and the state government went ahead with a new liquor policy as part of its social commitment and responsibility.

“For this, the Centre should have supported our (Kerala’s) action and this is a case in which the Centre has no role at all and hence, it should be ensured that the Attorney General does not appear as the counsel, on the 28th of this month (July), when the case again comes up,” said the statement from Chandy’s office .

The new liquor policy for the current fiscal in the state, that was given the green signal by the Kerala High Court, allows only 24 five-star hotels to serve liquor.

All other hotels including two, three and four-star ones that have bars have been disallowed. Many have given permission to serve only beer and wine.

The state unit of the BJP also expressed displeasure over the conduct of the Attorney General in the case.

“We have already brought this to the attention of the Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda and he has assured us that he will look into the issue. Even though the Attorney General sought permission to appear, there’s a moral issue in it and he should not have done it,” state BJP leader K. Surendran told the media on Saturday.

The Left opposition also expressed strong objection over the conduct of the Attorney General.



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