Alcohol ban on highways will include bars and restraurants too says SC
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to relax the March 31 ban on closure of liquor vends along national and state highways. The Supreme Court said that the vends would have to move away 500 metres from the highway. The liquor shops should not be visible from the highways, the court also said.
The SC clarified that the order would apply to bars and pubs and restaurants as well. If the ban does not apply to these categories then the objective of preventing drunken driving is lost. The SC however said that there would be a relaxation for a municipal area of less than a population of 20,000. The limit in such areas has been reduced to 220 metres instead of 500 metres, the SC also observed.
The SC also said that states such as Telangana and Andhra Pradesh which have a different excise year, the vends can continue operations till the licences expire on September 30.
The distance rule was exempted for Sikkim and Meghalaya, but in Himachal Pradesh the 220 metres rule would follow, the SC also noted.