In its ruling, the Kerala High Court has said that no liquor will be sold before 5 pm in bars and hotels. Legal experts say that the ruling of the high court makes drinking before that time a crime.
The court said that the prohibition of liquor during working hours was an attempt to curb rise in alcoholism in the state. In a way, court wants people to devote themselves to their respective works before 5 pm.
But the court has further clarified that only government can take a final decision after conducting a detailed examination of the issue.
Several groups of Kerala have welcomed it. Activists working to reduce rise in alcoholism in the state have said that they have been wanting this for long and that if distribution is curbed, then consumption will be curbed.
Kerala is known as tippler's paradise. The state has the highest per capita consumption - over eight litres (1.76 gallons) per person a year - in the nation, overtaking traditionally hard-drinking states like Punjab and Haryana.
Revenue earned from alcohol is one of the major sources of income for the state. Around 40 per cent of revenue for its annual budget comes from booze.