All the liquor vends within the boundary of 500 metres of the national and state highways will have to shut down from April 1, as per the Supreme Court.
Exemption has been given to hill states of Sikkim, Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh and areas where population is upto 20,000.
DY Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao said, that “it is suitably modified” and there has been “some substance” in exempting Sikkim and Meghalaya from 500 metre cap on vends on highways.
In an important order passed for seeking amendments in the court’s December 15, 2016 verdict, an order passed by Chief Justice JS Khehar also cleared the fact that judgement banning liquor vends along the highways would also be applicable on the bars, pubs and restaurants as drunken driving leads to fatal road accidents.
It further made amendments in the 500 metre cap rule for Himachal Pradesh which are alongside highways with population upto 20,000.
On not extending the licence limit, the apex court said that the licences which were hiven before 15th December 2016, are valid till 30th September in Telangana and sane gets applied till 30th June in Andhra Pradesh. No exemption is given to Tamil Nadu from 500 metre criteria.
The other liquor vends will have to be shut down from April 1 as per the December 15 judgment.
The court said, no license for the liquor vends on the highways would be renewed after March 31. The court reserved its ordered on appeal to relook it’s judgement of banning vends along the highways from April 1 with the attorney general saying that the judgement needed amendments as the “Budget of the states will go for a six”.
This rule is expected to affect hundreds of bars, restaurants and hotels in cities and states across India, including Gurgaon, Chandigarh,Pune and Goa. As per The Times of India, over 3,000 liquor traders, including bars and restaurants, in Goa would be shut as a result of the verdict, dealing a blow to the state’s tourism.
It seems like Chandigarh going to be the next Gujarat in some time. It is now final that all liquor vends on Madhya Marg road in Chandigarh will have to shut down. No liquor in the bars, restaurants on the famous restaurants belt of Chandigarh.
In Delhi NCR, hotels in the Aerocity complex near the Indira Gandhi International Airport, and in Gurgaon, five-star hotels such as the Leela, Westin and Oberoi, restaurants and bars situated along National Highway 48, including DLF CyberHub, will have to stop selling alcohol. However, other pub owners said that the distance will still have to be mapped by excise officials.