Goa has already announced ban on drinking in selected public places including beaches.
Parrikar pointed to the Supreme Court order banning sale of liquor with 500 metres of national highways as an example of a law made with good intention but which had to be tweaked given the ground situation in different states.
On Thursday, share price of United Spirits rose 3.9 per cent on Friday, that of Radico Khaitan and GM Breweries were up by 1.9 per cent and 4.35 per cent respectively.
Till now, the administration was thinking of denotifying these stretches as major district roads which would then permit hoteliers to allow consumption of liquor at these places.
“The revenue from excise is used in public welfare and developmental schemes of the state. Banning liquor sale will indirectly promote illicit liquor sale and people will start purchasing from illegal sources which will adversely affect their health. Thus, for revenue and public interest, banning liquor in the state does seem to be justified,” the minister said.
A state official said SC’s observation was a relief for the hotels, restaurants and clubs but it was not an order. “The observation was reported by the press. We cannot take that as an order unless we get it in a copy of the order.”
The apex court’s clarification is expected to revive the dry and deserted sector 26 and other areas of Madhya marg which was a hub of clubs, bars and microbreweries.
“Why court gave the order is because when you are in fast-moving traffic, you should not be under the influence of anything…the purpose was to ensure that people don’t stop in the way, suppose when they are driving from Delhi to Agra, have a drink and then drive,” said CJI Khehar.
The bench was hearing petitions filed by liquor stores and bars which challenged the notices issued to them by the state excise department, prohibiting them from selling liquor.
The Supreme Court in December last year had ordered that liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state highways will have to shut down from April 1.
Sale of liquor in a shopping outlet along the same road was also permitted. Operations of these clubs’ liquor rooms and the shop had been stayed following a Supreme Court order banning the sale of liquor within 500 metres of national and state highways after March 31.
Several liquor outlets had filed petitions before the vacation bench seeking urgent relief to stay the notices issued by the collector/ superintendent of excise directing them to close down.
The action come as part of the ongoing crackdown on liquor trade and consumption after Bihar CM Nitish kumar held a review meeting with all the District Magistrates and SPs.
The minister also maintained that LDF government’s liquor policy was not total prohibition but abstinence.
The order will have a huge social and economical bearing for the people running these establishments. Equally hit will be the people employed at these vends, commercial establishments, hotels, motels, clubs etc.