TN orders reopening of TASMAC liquor shops from tomorrow except in Chennai, Thiruvallur, malls and containment zones

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], May 15 (ANI): The Tamil Nadu government on Friday issued an order for reopening of government-run TASMAC (liquor) shops from Saturday from 10 am till 5 pm in the state except Chennai, Thiruvallur, malls, and COVID-19 containment zones.

For sales at TASMAC (liquor) shops, the token system needs to be followed, and only 500 tokens will be issued per day, the state government said.

Also, those who come to buy liquor must wear face mask and follow social distancing norms.

This comes after the Supreme Court on Friday stayed Madras High Court order, which directed the closure of all state-run liquor shops and allowed only online sale of liquor in the state during the lockdown.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao and also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and BR Gavai stayed the Madras High Court order after hearing an appeal filed by Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) challenging the same.

Additional conditions have also been stayed, the apex court said.

TASMAC had filed a petition appeal before the apex court on May 9, a day after the Madras High Court directed the closure of all state-run liquor shops in Tamil Nadu and permitted online sale of liquor in the state.

The Madras High Court had passed the order after finding violation of social distancing norms, as ordered by the central government, at the liquor shops.

"Liquor is not an essential item and this court orders for the closure until May 17, when the lockdown imposed by the Centre is supposed to end," Madras High Court had said in its order.

The High Court gave its order after hearing a number of petitions, including that of Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) party. (ANI)