Liquor shops alongside the National Highway 8 (NH 8) in Jaipur were shut down on Saturday following the Supreme Court's order banning liquor outlets within 500 metres of state and national highways across the country.
Liquor shops alongside the National Highway 8 (NH 8) in Jaipur were shut down on Saturday following the Supreme Court’s order banning liquor outlets within 500 metres of state and national highways across the country. The apex court on December 15, 2016, had ordered that licenses of existing shops along national and state highways will not be renewed after March 31. A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar 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.
The order of SC was challenged through petitions by several associations across states seeking modification of the court’s verdict. After this, the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao, said that “it is suitably modifying” its December 15 verdict as there has been “some substance” in seeking the relief and exempted Sikkim and Meghalaya from the 500-metre cap on liquor vends alongside highways. It further 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. Also, the SC said the licences that were given before December 15, 2016, will be valid till September 30 in the case of Telangana and the same would be operational till June 30 in Andhra Pradesh.
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The verdict on the ban of liquor shops on highways 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. It had also directed that all signages indicating the presence of liquor vends will be prohibited along national and state highways.