OBSERVING that there is no urgency in the matter, the Bombay High Court Wednesday said it was not inclined to pass orders in response to hotels and permit rooms seeking de-sealing of their premises on grounds that they are not located near national or state highways. Approaching the HC, several permit rooms and hotels had said the Supreme Court order banning liquor outlets in a 500-meter radius of highways is not applicable to them.
A vacation bench of Justice
B P Colabawalla and Justice A M Badar, however, pointed out that with the vacations ending in another four days, the matter should be heard by a regular bench as there was no urgency in the matter.
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 vacation bench, posting the matter for hearing on June 7, asked the government pleader to take instructions in the matter. The lawyers appearing for the petitioners argued that the SC order does not imply closing down of such business but allows such outlets to collect revenue from other sources. Moreover, the petitioners did not fall within the 500 metre radius, they said.
The HC was also informed that the Aurangabad bench had in April granted interim relief in a similar matter. The lawyers said such outlets were facing loss of revenue.