The Madras High Court today ordered that no more Tasmac liquor shops in Tamil Nadu should be opened for the next 3 months, a day after DMK approached it alleging that the state government was trying to circumvent the Supreme Court ban order. The main Opposition party had earlier appealed against the state government’s order to convert national and state highways into district and corporation highways to open the Tasmac liquor shops in the state, thereby circumventing the Supreme Court’s order.
Yesterday, the main Opposition party had approached the High Court to stop any attempt by AIADMK government to dodge top court’s order to sell of alcohol within 500 meters of the highway.
On April 1, the top court had modified its earlier order to ban liquor shops in the close vicinity of highways across the country. It had said that towns, cities or municipal corporations, which have less than 20,000 population could have alcohol shops beyond 220m.
This was a change in top court’s earlier order in which it had said that alcohol vendors could not open shop anywhere within the 500 m range of a highway. The order was passed due to increase in road accidents across the country in which several drivers have been known to be drunk.
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The top court felt that permitting liquor vends within 500 metres of highways would reduce the purpose of curbing drunken driving. Last December, the apex court had ordered a complete shutdown of liquor shops within 500 metres of highways. It had also directed the government not to issue licenses from March 31.
In its order, the top court had stated that all existing licenses would expire after April 1 and they would not be renewed till the shops are relocated according to the court-mandated stipulations.
(With inputs from PTI)