Kerala’s High Court agrees with spirits ban

The High Court in the Indian state of Kerala has upheld a ban on bars and hotels serving spirits.

Only 24 five-star hotels will be legally allowed to serve Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL), after the state’s High Court agreed with a government policy introduced last year. The UDF Government in Kerala, on India’s southwest peninsula, made a move to outlaw alcohol in the state last August.

However, in December Kerala’s chief minister said some measures would be eased after a legal challenge from bar and hotel owners.

In the most recent ruling, the High Court also allowed the reopening of 418 closed bars to operate as beer and wine parlours. Around half of these have already started operating under the fresh licence and the rest are preparing to appeal the case at the Supreme Court.

Amrut Distilleries, the Bangalore based spirits company which has 6%-7% market share in Kerala, told just-drinks it is expecting to lose out on at least one lakh cases per month of sales, mostly from rum and brandy.

The news originally appeared on

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