SC to hear TN govt's plea challenging Madras HC order on closure of TASMAC shops during lockdown

New Delhi [India], May 14 (ANI): The Supreme Court will hear on Friday the appeal filed by the Tamil Nadu government challenging the Madras High Court's May 8 order directing to close all state-run liquor shops and allowing only online sale of liquor in the state during the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown.

A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao and comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and BR Gavai will be hearing the appeal filed by TASMAC (Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation).

The High Court had on May 8 directed the closure of all state-run liquor shops in Tamil Nadu and permitted only online sale of liquor in the state.

The court had passed the order after finding a violation of social distancing norm, as ordered by the Union of India (UoI) to fight COVID-19 crisis, at the stores.

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

The court had passed the order after hearing a number of petitions, including that of Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) party, pointing out serious violations of social distancing and other rules, while selling liquor in the stores.

In response to the High Court's order, TASMAC filed the appeal before the apex court on May 9. (ANI)