Starting from today, sale of liquor will not be allowed on highways following the Supreme Court’s direction to shut down Liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state highways. The apex court yesterday modified its order of banning liquor vends within 500 metres on national and state highways, reducing the distance to 220 metres in areas with a population of up to 20,000.
A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, however, made it clear that its December 15, 2016 order banning such vends within 500 metres of highways shall remain operative for areas other than specified in yesterday’s order. The top court said, the judgment will also be applicable to bars, pubs and restaurants in the vicinity that serve alcohol as drunken driving leads to fatal road accidents. The court passed the significant order on pleas of various states seeking modification of the court’s December 15, 2016 verdict. The apex court though exempted hill states of Sikkim and Meghalaya.
These states have been exempted due to the mountainous terrain and thick jungles. The states had argued that since there isn’t enough land for homes and shops, it would be difficult to find sites for liquor sale. The bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao, also modified the order reducing the distance to 220 metres for Himachal Pradesh. The bench clarified that licences given to liquor vendors prior to the December 15 judgement will be valid up to the 30th of September this year. The bench said, the court’s direction that no licences for liquor vends on highways will be renewed after March 31, will remain effective for rest of the country.