Chennai(PTI): Madras High Court on Wednesday disposed of a PIL seeking to suspend operations of state-run TASMAC liquor outlets for two to three months in flood affected districts, but asked the Tamil Nadu government to consider the suggestion made by an NGO to release the flood relief amount among women in those areas instead of men.
The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana, before which the PIL by NGO Change India came up, suggested the government to go through a research study by the petitioner in 2006 titled ‘Alcoholism before and after tsunami’ and to examine its representation on suspending operation of liquor shops in flood affected areas.
Change India’s Director A Narayanan submitted that when milk and water had become scarce and thousands of people were struggling in the flash floods, TASMAC outlets continued sales Stating that even though he was aware of the High Court’s position of non interference in government policy decisions, Narayanan said “extraordinary measures and situations warrant interference”.
Narayanan, who appeared in person, expressed fears that the succour to be provided to affected people may get dissipated in consumption of liquor rather than rehabilitation.
The bench then raised a query on what could be the methodology to ensure that such a thing does not happen, to which the petitioner suggested that the relief amount be released to the woman in the house rather than to the man.
Narayanan submitted that he made a representation with relevant research material to the government on December 8, 2015 and prayed that his representation be considered.
The bench after hearing the petitioner said, “This representation can thus be examined in terms of the research study or any other material.”