Kerala government’s latest plan would enable women to serve liquor at beer and wine parlours in the state. The state’s excise department is planning to withdraw restrictions imposed on women from undertaking employment in bar hotels, beer and wine parlours. To that effect, it will have to amend Kerala abkari shops disposal rules, 2002, and foreign liquor rules, 1953.
The current rules clearly states that no women should be employed in any capacity in a toddy shop, foreign liquor outlets including Bevco and beer and wine shops or clubs, reported Times of India. The excise department is trying to change the rule in light of two high court rulings on the subject in favour of women. In a 2013 order, a single bench of Justice Dama Sheshadri Naidu of Kerala High Court has ruled “it needs not much cogitation to hold that rule 27A of Kerala Foreign Liquor Rules as well as condition 9A.. fall foul of the Constitutional scheme of gender equality as has been spelt out in articles 14, 15 (1) and (2) and 16 (1) and (2) of the Constitution”.
In another order by the high court in 2016, Justice Anu Sivaraman held that Public Service Commission should immediately take steps to appoint six women who were in the rank list of the commission for appointment as peon and helper posts in Bevco, who were denied the postings citing existing rules.