A bench of justices N Kirubakaran and V Parthiban, in its oral observations, said the bars attached to the state-run TASMAC liquor shops were a meeting place for criminals and that several conspiracies were hatched at these places.
The court was hearing two petitions -- one seeking bail for 25 people who had taken part in an agitation against the TASMAC shops and another for a direction to close a liquor outlet at Thirumullaivoyal here.
In the earlier matter, the court had expanded the scope of the petitions and asked why the TASMAC shops should not open at 2 PM after lunch, instead of 12 noon.
When the government submitted that liquor shops remained open in other states till 10 am, the bench said in Tamil Nadu, consumption of alcohol was more and without any regulations.
It also referred to the 2016 election manifesto of the ruling AIADMK that prohibition would be introduced in the state in phases and asked how many shops were closed in 2018.
The bench noted that the government had closed 500 TASMAC shops in 2016 and another 500 in 2017.
It then posted the matter for further hearing to July 2.
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