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'Publicity' Under Garb Of PIL: Madras High Court Dismisses Plea To Keep TASMAC Liquor Shops Closed On Public Holidays

Sebin James
12 Jan 2022 11:30 AM GMT
Publicity Under Garb Of PIL: Madras High Court Dismisses Plea To Keep TASMAC Liquor Shops Closed On Public Holidays
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In a plea seeking directions to keep the TASMAC liquor shops closed during public holidays, the Madras High Court has criticized the practice of advocates filing public interest litigations for 'publicity'.The bench of Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice PD Audikesavalu remarked,"We are inclined to dismiss this PIL with costs. We might also restrict you from filing...

In a plea seeking directions to keep the TASMAC liquor shops closed during public holidays, the Madras High Court has criticized the practice of advocates filing public interest litigations for 'publicity'.

The bench of Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice PD Audikesavalu remarked,

"We are inclined to dismiss this PIL with costs. We might also restrict you from filing PILs in the future. The Supreme Court has said that advocates should not indulge in filing public interest litigations. Are you enrolled and registered with the Bar Council?

The Bench however refrained from imposing cost and the plea was dismissed as withdrawn.

The petitioner, Advocate B. Ramkumar Adityan, had sought appropriate directions from the High Court to the state government for declaring Pongal, Christmas, Thai Poosam, Republic Day, etc. as 'dry days'.

"Festive mode has become a tragic mode", said the petitioner referring to the untoward incidents allegedly on account of alcohol consumption in those days.

He thus urged that the above mentioned public holidays should apply to all government undertakings, including TASMAC, and the liquor shops should remain closed on those days.

Disagreeing with the submissions, the Bench opined that there are no legal grounds to restrain the operation of a commercial establishment under Shops and Commercial Establishments Act.

On the point of holidays being declared as dry days in other states, the bench clarified that the same does not apply to TASMAC shops in Tamil Nadu.

Case Title: B. Ramkumar Adityan v. The Chief Secretary & Ors.

Case No: WP(MD)/380/2022 (PIL)

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 13

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