In a bid to skirt the Supreme court order barring liqour outlets and pubs near state and national highways, Rajasthan government has decided to designate the state highways passing through populated areas as urban roads.
Under the new rule, status of state highways passing through limits of city, towns, tehsils and panchayats will be relinquished if they are connected by a bypass. Thousands of liquor outlets along national and state highways have been shut after the Supreme Court order came into force on April 1.
With the latest announcement, the government is aiming to make the process of de-notification of state highways a one-time exercise. On March 31, the apex court rejected multiple pleas seeking reprieve on the ban, including from state governments which had sought more time to implement the order.
“The objective is to check drunken driving and so there is no dilution of the original order passed by this court. Drunken driving as the objective is a major cause of road accidents in the country,” a bench headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar had said.
Last year, the apex court directed the state governments not to renew licenses after March 31 and banned fresh licences to the liquor outlets. The court also extended the ban to pubs, bars and restaurants near highways. It also reduced the distance from 500 to 220 metres in areas with a population of up to 20,000.
Given the move by Rajasthan government seeks to dilute the supreme court ruling, Twitter was quick to react to the development
Here are some of the top reactions
@ANI_news By hook or crook States want to continue with serving liquor in Highways ignoring the innumerable deaths that takesplace due to drunk drivng
— mohandas (@tgmohandas) April 4, 2017
Judicial overreach got defeated by the branch which is supposed to see such issues.
— Raghav Gupta (@RaghavKGupta) April 4, 2017
— K.Krishna Mallya (@k_kkmallya589) April 4, 2017
@ndtv Totally expected,SC shld make it stand clear,it will b no surprise,other states will also follow d same,where NH goes thru populated areas
— Chandani Suman (@csuman29) April 4, 2017
— Saurabh Dahiya (@saurabhdahiya) April 4, 2017