MADURAI: Expressing shock after seeing a photograph showing school students in uniform consuming alcohol, a division bench of the Madras High Court warned that the court would impose a ban on liquor if authorities failed to strictly follow guidelines on not selling alcohol to those aged below 21.
The bench comprising Justices R Mahadevan and J Sathya Narayana Prasad was hearing a petition filed by B Ramkumar Adityan of Tiruchendur, seeking a direction to the State government to strictly adhere to the guidelines pertaining to sale of liquor from Tasmac shops.
The petitioner said the restrictions on selling liquor near places of worship and educational institutions, and even direction by the court to keep the shops away from highways has had little impact.
He also cited the data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) that revealed that Tamil Nadu recorded the highest number of drunk driving accidents countrywide, with 42 per cent victims dying. This is much higher than over-speeding (30%), reckless driving (33%), and weather conditions (36%), he added.
According to the petitioner, the availability and access through Tasmac shops were tempting addicts and even students to buy liquor, and added that the State-run corporation should strictly instruct its salesmen not to sell alcohol to those below 21 years and take action against the staff who violate this rule.
Seeing the photograph that the petitioner submitted showing school students in uniform drinking liquor, the bench expressed shock and wondered where the country was heading.
A proper solution should be found to end these problems, or else the court would impose ban on liquor sale, it warned.
The bench then directed the State government to file its response and adjourned the case to two weeks.