The Supreme Court on Monday said that its order banning liquor vends within a distance of 500 metres along national and state highways will not extend to municipal areas was applicable to the whole country
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said this while hearing a plea by the Tamil Nadu government, which sought a clarification on the matter.
The apex court, which had banned sale of liquor within 500 metres of highways across the country, had on July 11 relaxed the ban and allowed liquor shops alongside highways in municipal areas. The direction came on a plea regarding liquor shops in municipal areas of the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
Madras HC, taking note of the Tamil Nadu government’s recent decision to allow liquor shops on highways in municipal areas, said the apex court’s relaxation might be confined to Chandigarh alone and asked the state to seek clarification from the top court.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said the July 11 order was clear, although a clarification was needed. “The HC says municipal areas in the Supreme Court order means only areas in Punjab, and not in Chennai. The Chief Justice Bench of the High Court wants a clarification whether the exemption applies only to Chandigarh,” Rohatgi said.
“Why should the High Court think that? If our order applies for municipal areas in Chandigarh, it will apply equally for municipal areas across the country,” the bench said and posted the matter after two weeks for hearing.