news Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 05:30
  Should liquor shops in Tamil Nadu be closed down for former president Abdul Kalam's funeral? According to a judge in the Madras High Court, they should not, as liquor is "an essential commodity."   The court was dealing with a petition of advocate K Baalu from the Advocates Forum for Social Justice who wanted the court to order closure of all liquor shops in Tamil Nadu on Thursday, when Kalam would be laid to rest at Rameswaram.   According to a report in the Times of India, Juctice CS Karnan did not want government run Tasmac liquor shops to close down during the funeral of former President A P J Abdul Kalam's funeral on Thursday and said, "In five star hotels, liquor is served from 5 am to 11 pm. When people in five star hotels can drink, why not these people?"   The judge was hearing a petition filed by an advocate of the Madras High Court.   The state's counsel, however, claimed that a government order had already been issued declaring holiday for Tasmac shops in Ramanathapuram district for two days on­ July 29 and 30.   "We have to appreciate the policy of the government in declaring holiday , and for closing liquor shops for two days in Ramanathapuram district.But the court cannot interfere with the government's revenue," the report quotes the judge as saying.   The Tamil Nadu government had earlier ordered closure of all liquor shops and bars in the state for two days. However, there was no mention of closure of Tasmac shops in the Government Order.  
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