The LDF government in Kerala have urged Supreme Court on Monday to remove beer and toddy from the definition of alcohol. They have also sought to know what beverages fall under the definition of alcohol.
According to them, beer and toddy are beverages made from the sap of palm trees and this does not fit in the definition of alcohol.
However, Kerala excise minister T.P. Ramakrishnan have dismissed these reports. He told Manorama Online, "The government did not say that beer was not an alcoholic product. We only sought more clarification on the definition of alcohol."
However, the state's petition in the apex court contradicts the minister's claim. The petition states that beer, toddy and wine cannot be termed alcohol products and that they should be omitted from the bracket of liquor, Manorama News reported
In India, the alcohol by volume (ABV) in beer ranges from four to eight per cent, whereas toddy has four per cent alcohol content.
The Supreme Court in December last year banned the sale of liquor on highways, forcing them to relocate to interior areas. The order has forced around 300 such outlets comprising beer and wine parlours, five star hotels and state owned liquor retail outlets to look for new places by the beginning of the new fiscal.
Due to the directive, more than 170 retail outlets of the state-owned Kerala State Beverages Corporation have to be moved out latest by March 31.
The Kerala State Beverages Corporation is to approach the apex court seeking more time to move their outlets.