Council poll: Liquor ban only on voting, counting days, rules Karnataka High Court

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BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court has ruled that the liquor ban will be enforced only on the day of polling for the Legislative Council polls from the Bengaluru Teachers constituency and on the day of counting of votes. The court directed that the liquor ban will be from 6 am on February 16 to midnight on February 17, the day of voting, and again on February 20, when the votes will be counted.

Earlier, the city police commissioner had issued orders banning the sale of liqour from 5 pm on February 14 till midnight on February 17. The bar owners’ association had approached the high court against this order. The liquor ban on the two days will be in effect in Bengaluru Urban and Bengaluru Rural districts.

A single-judge bench of Justice S R Krishna Kumar ruled that restaurants can continue to serve food and that a liquor ban stretching over days is not necessary since the voters are teachers. This does not mean that teachers are drinkers, the bench noted.

The bar owners’ association contended that there are only 10,000 female and 6,000 male voters in the constituency and that the order to close down 2,600 liquor stores and bars for three days was unscientific. The association said they approached the State Election Commission against the order, but did not get a favourable response following which they approached the high court. The association aslo thanked advocate Arun Shyam, the BBHA, KSHA, Bangalore Wine Merchants Association, NRAI and others.

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