Chennai, Feb 12 (PTI) The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered the concerned authorities to immediately close all illegal bars across Tamil Nadu and file a report by February 20.

Expressing surprise over a submission made on behalf of the state government, which stated that 3,326 FIRs had been against illegal bars, the court directed the home, prohibition and excise department secretary to shut them all forthwith.

The division bench comprising Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad passed the order after a petition from a Coimbatore resident, D Prabakaran, sought a direction against fraudulent acts in Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) with regard to issuing and collection of license fees from bars.

It was submitted before the bench that during April-December 2018 surprise checks were conducted by senior divisional manager and district managers of TASMAC and they found that 2,505 illegal bars were being run.

The head office squad detected 20 illegal bars and the deputy collectors and the flying squad detected 801 bars.

The petitioner alleged fraud in issuing purchase bills, rendering periodical accounts to the government, collection of license fees from the TASMAC bars, charging of excess rate, all of which cause loss to the exchequer.

He submitted that TASMAC allows illegal bars to run without maintaining hygiene and alleged that these bars do not display the price list of the eatables, which are sold at exorbitant rates. Besides, the bars don’t have basic amenities like water and toilet facilities.

The petitioner said he moved court after his representations to authorities did not receive any response.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.