The Madras high court on Saturday directed the Tamil Nadu government to shut down 1,700 liquor shops opened along highways falling under municipal areas across the state, as the process followed in permitting such shops were not in accordance with the Supreme Court order.

The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose passed the order on a PIL moved by advocate K Balu of Advocates Forum for Social Justice.

The issue pertains to a circular issued by the state dated September 1, 2017 directing the collectors to permit all FL1 to FL11 licensed establishments within the limits of municipal corporations, municipalities, and town panchayats.

In view of the circular, 1,700 liquor shops were opened across the state in a short period, besides permit rooms and bars.

Claiming that the permission granted for establishing such shops are not in accordance with the directions of the Supreme Court’s liquor ban order, the petitioner moved the high court to quash the circular and close down the shops.

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