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SC reserves order on review of ban on liquor shops near highways

LiveMint logoLiveMint 30-03-2017 Apurva Vishwanath

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its verdict in a batch of petitions seeking a review of its order banning liquor vends within 500 metres of all state and national highways from 31 March.

A bench comprising chief justice J.S. Khehar, justices D.Y. Chandrachud and L. Nageswara Rao heard arguments by at least nine states and union territories for over two days.

The states include Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Maharashtra. Union territories of Chandigarh, Mahe and Puducherry are also parties. The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India has also sought a clarification if the ruling applies to hotels and restaurants or only to liquor vends.

On 15 December last year, a bench comprising then chief justice T.S. Thakur, justices D.Y. Chandrachud and L. Nageswara Rao had allowed liquor shops in proximity to highways to operate till 31 March, but ruled against renewal of their licences. The court’s decision came on a public interest litigation case seeking to curb road accidents on highways due to drunken driving.

Some states have sought to extend the deadline or decrease the distance to 100 meters for state highways while a few states have sought a recall of the order.

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