The Madras High Court ordered the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) outlets in Tamil Nadu to display the prices of liquor being sold while asking the body to strictly adhere to selling alcohol at MRP. Hearing a petition that sought action to prevent the sale of alcohol above MRP rates, the Madras HC asked TASMAC Managing Director to issue a circular to all district-level officials to ensure that liquor was sold at MRP and that rates were displayed at all outlets in order to solve issues pertaining to overcharging. A bench headed by Justices MM Sundresh and S Ananthi had earlier sought the government's responses on various issues including actions taken on TASMAC employees who were involved in the sale of liquor above the Maximum Retail Price (MRP).
The Madras HC further asked the government to report on the compliance of the direction on the date of the next hearing and adjourned the case to March 16 for the next hearing. The judges referred to the Tamil Nadu Liquor Retail Vending Rules to direct the TASMAC officials to display the prices of the liquor and to sell at MRP to solve the issue of corruption at these outlets. As per reports, the PIL was reportedly filed by M Rajeswaripriya, the founder-president of Anaithu Makkal Arasiyal Katchi.
The Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) is a Government of Tamil Nadu owned company that enjoys monopoly over wholesale and retail vending of alcoholic beverages in Tamil Nadu. There are 19 Distilleries manufacturing alcohol in Tamil Nadu. Among them, 17 are in the private sector while two are in the co-operative sector. The sale of liquor in black has been dealt with meekly in the past and often comes into the limelight with the elections or with a petition being filed at the Courts seeking direction against malpractice.