BAR rooms in three clubs along Pune’s Bund Road can re-open, after the Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed that they be de-sealed and be allowed to resume operations. 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. “Stay on operation of the said premises is vacated,” the HC said, asking the state to justify its claim of Bund Road being a state highway. The clubs are Poona Club, Ladies Club,Bramhacorp Leisure Club and a shopping outlet, Dorabjee and Co.
The petitioners had sought stay on the notices issued by the collector/superintendent of excise directing them to close down their businesses with immediate effect.
Appearing for the petitioners, senior counsel P Dakhepalkar said that the premises were not located along any state or national highway.”It is located along Bund Road which is not a state or national highway,” said Dakhepalkar.
The government pleader claimed that according to the state, Bund Road is a state highway and the clubs were located a little over 101 metres from it. “Do you have an official document which specifies the same?” questioned Justice Shantanu Kemkar. Dakhepalkar asked if the state had issued a notification declaring Bund Road a highway. The state has been asked to file an affidavit to prove their claim.