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The Supreme Court today asked the Kerala Government to file an affidavit listing out the practical difficulties in relocating the toddy shops in the state which have been shut following its order to close down liquor shops along highways across the country. The bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked the state to file the affidavit within four weeks. Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for the Kerala Toddy Shop Licensee Association, told the court that over 625 toddy shops were shut in the state and more than 3,000 workers were rendered jobless. He also told the court that toddy has been considered differently from other forms of liquor as it is a natural drink and is not as intoxicating as other forms of alcoholic drinks. It has no role in accidents due to drunken driving on highways, Ramachandran said. He also said that there was hardly any big roads in Kerala where vehicles can be driven at a very high speed. The association has been seeking modification of the apex court order banning liquor shops alongside highways within 500 metres on grounds that toddy does not fall under the category of alcoholic beverages.
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