Liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state highways will have to shut down from 1 April, in keeping with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold its 15 December 2016 decision on the issue.
In a significant order passed on pleas of various states seeking modification of the court's December 2016 verdict, a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar also made it clear that the judgement banning liquor vends along highways would also be applicable to bars, pubs and restaurants as drunken driving leads to fatal road accidents.
It had also directed that all signages indicating the presence of liquor vends will be prohibited along national and state highways.
The verdict had come on a PIL alleging that nearly 1.42 lakh people died per year in road mishaps and that the drunken driving is a major contributor.
While Sikkim and Meghalaya have been exempted from the rule, here’s a quick look at how the ban will affect various areas:
- In Delhi, the verdict will result in the closure of 50 liquor vends and 65 restaurants and hotels located along the six national highways, including hotels in Delhi Aerocity, NDTV reported.
- Around 34 pubs, bars and restaurants in Gurugram’s popular CyberHub area will put their shutters up on 1 April.
- The ruling could impact over 8,000 establishments in Maharashtra, NDTV reported.
- Over 1,000 liquor shops in Karnataka are expected to be hit as a result of the verdict, Bangalore Mirror reported.
- The court modified the 500-metre cap rule for Himachal Pradesh and local areas which are alongside highways with a population up to 20,000, and said that they may have liquor vends at a distance of 220 metres from the highways.
- On the issue of non-extension of liquor vends' licences beyond 31 March, the apex court said the licences given before 15 December 2016, will be valid till 30 September in Telangana and 30 June in Andhra Pradesh.
- The court, however, did not give relief to Tamil Nadu, represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, from the 500-metre criterion.
'Not an April Fool’s Day Prank’
(With PTI inputs. This story has been updated.)
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