Kerala High Court: In a recent petition, owners of hotels with four star classification contested that they have acquired all necessary parameters and were thus, eligible for the grant of Bar Licence or FL-3 license which provides for conducting bar for serving liquor in hotels. The applications of these petitioners, for the grant of license, was refused by the Excise Authorities and State of Kerala on the grounds that four star hotels were ineligible for grant of such licenses under provisions of Abkari Policy 2014-15. The counsel for the petitioners, C.C. Thomas, cited a recent decision of this Court where it set aside the provisions of Abkari Policy 2014-15, to the extent they excluded the four starred and heritage hotels from getting FL-3 license, as being violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. The counsel further pleaded that though an appeal has been submitted against the said judgment before a Division Bench but the prayer for stay of operation of the judgment has been declined by the same. The respondents were represented by Government Pleader C.K Sherin.
K. S. Mohan J., held that the petitioners are justified in their contention and entitled to the benefit of the dictum laid down by the case cited by the petitioner’s counsel and ordered the respective authorities to accept their application subject to their satisfaction and other conditions of eligibility, within two months from date of judgment.M/S Excalibur v. State of Kerala decided on 2.12.2014