No relief from SC, liquor shops, bars and restaurants will not be allowed to sell alcohol near highways

The SC stated that the reason for putting this ban is to curb drunk driving

Staying firm on its stand, the Supreme Court on Friday announced that liquor cannot be sold around 200 metres on highways where the population is less than 20,000. The apex court announced the decision after hearing petitions which asked for changes in its December 2016 order in which a ban was placed on selling of liquor within 500 metres on national highways.

In its 2016 order, the SC had said that license of those shops will not be renewed which are on state and national highways after March 31.

Several states, including Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab, Telangana, Haryana and others had told the top court that the ban put on the 500-metre distance should be reduced.

The apex court stated that the ban is not restricted to liquor vends but is also applicable on pubs, restaurants, hotels, pubs which are on highways and come in the radius of 500 metres and the reason given by SC for putting this ban is to control drunk driving.

The All Assam Indian Made Foreign Liquors Retailers’ Association had moved to SC on January 18 in order to seek if some changes can be made on the ban imposed.

Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi, also was in the favour of making some modifications in order and reducing the distance of 500 metre.

However, Sikkim and Meghalaya are the two states which have been exempted from the ban due to hilly terrain.