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The Kerala High Court has stayed the Kerala Government’s order, which allowed people to buy liquor during the lockdown, upon furnishing a doctor’s certificate. The order was passed in Petitions challenging the Government’s order, filed by Congress MP, T N Prathapan, the Indian Medical Association, and the Kerala Government Medical Officers Association.

During the hearing, the Court remarked that there is no medical literature to support treating alcohol withdrawal syndrome by supplying patients with alcohol, and that that is a recipe for disaster. With all due respect, it appears that the Hon’ble Court has completely misunderstood the purpose behind the Government order. 

The Government’s rationale behind the order was to prevent the occurrence of medical emergencies such as people suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms, or people falling ill after consuming illicitly manufactured hooch, which would result in an unnecessary burden on an already strained healthcare infrastructure. This is an extremely valid point and, in this case, I believe that the Government got it right. The Court ought to have either dismissed the Petitions or, better yet, ordered that liquor stores be allowed to open, subject to taking the required precautions. This is especially true considering 6 people have already committed suicide in Kerala, due to the non-availability of liquor. Unfortunately, it appears that the Kerala High Court has not taken any of this into consideration

I have already written about the fact that closing liquor stores during the lockdown is a disaster waiting to happen. I sincerely hope the Kerala Government challenges the stay in the Supreme Court, and that the stay order is set aside. Contrary to what fell from the Hon’ble Court, NOT allowing people to buy alcohol during the lockdown is a recipe for disaster.

Read the Article About High Court Order here: https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/kerala-hc-stays-govt-decision-to-supply-liquor-to-persons-on-doctor-certifying-alcohol-withdrawal-syndrome-154680?infinitescroll=1

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