Punjab Assembly passes amendment to allow serving liquor in hotels on highway

The Punjab Assembly on Friday passed the amendment to allow serving liquor in hotels, restaurants and clubs on the highway.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 23, 2017 6:45 pm
punjab, punjab liquor, punjab liquor ban, liquor ban, punjab highway liquor ban, punjab assembly, liquor, hotels, restaurants, clubs, highway, punjab highway, india news, indian express The Punjab Cabinet had given its nod to amend a section of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, that would exempt hotels, restaurants and clubs from the Supreme Court order restricting sale of liquor within 500 metres of highways. (Source: File Photo)

The Punjab Assembly on Friday passed a bill to allow serving liquor in hotels, restaurants and clubs on the highway. The Punjab Excise (Amendment) Bill, which was moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra, was passed by the Assembly on the concluding day of its budget session. Earlier this week, the Punjab Cabinet had given its nod to amend a section of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, that would exempt hotels, restaurants and clubs from the Supreme Court order restricting sale of liquor within 500 metres of highways.

As per the amendment, all ambiguities would be removed and while there will be no retail vend within 500 metres of the national and state highways, these restrictions shall not apply to hotels, restaurants and clubs situated on the national and state highways.

In December last year, the Supreme Court had ordered that liquor vends located within 500 metres on national and state highways, should be closed down. Later, it had modified the order reducing the distance to 220 metres in areas having a population of up to 20,000. However, the apex court had made it clear that its December 15, 2016 order banning such vends within 500 metres of highways shall remain operative for other areas.

“The judicial pronouncement is aimed at checking drunken driving and the resultant losses. However, there are large number of hotels, restaurants, clubs and other enclosed notified places where liquor is sold for in situ consumption,” the Bill states. “These are a part of the hospitality and tourism industry which generates substantial employment in the state. Absence of liquor in hotels, restaurants, clubs etc has seriously affected their existence and even their partial closure may create substantial unemployment in the state,” it said.

The bill aims to ensure that hotels, restaurants, clubs and other notified places are allowed to serve alcohol only for consumption within their premises “to secure the livelihood” of a large segment of the state’s population. However, sale of liquor shall be permitted only through licensed vends which shall not be located within 500 metres from the outer range of the national or state highway or a service lane of those roads. Also, liquor vends shall neither be directly visible nor accessible from highways.

The bill mentions that notwithstanding anything contained in any judgement, decree or order of any court, tribunal or authority, every club, hotel, restaurant or any notified place having a licence shall be entitled to serve liquor within the premises located near national or state highways. The SAD-BJP alliance and AAP members were not present in the Assembly when this Bill and other legislative businesses were taken up as they had staged a walkout during the Question hour.

with PTI inputs

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  1. J
    Jignesh mehta
    Jun 24, 2017 at 3:43 pm
    This is what Congress party has been doing since independence. They think they are above law and India is their property. What was the need for this amendment after the Supreme Court order. This shows their arrogance.
    1. I
      Jun 24, 2017 at 3:57 am
      Thank you Congress for revival of kha tan end game begin.
      1. T
        try indian
        Jun 23, 2017 at 11:58 pm
        Punjab can live without oxygen but not without daru, oh bhai Sahab ke baat kar rage ho, afterall it's udd Gaya Punjab, Punjabis
        1. K
          Jun 23, 2017 at 9:12 pm
          Congress leader from mohali(Punjab) runs liquor business and I already saw 5 new thekkas (liquor shops ) in the area .2 was opposite to each other on a highway LMAO Punjabs dead
          1. C
            Chaudhary Tau
            Jun 24, 2017 at 12:11 am
            Let a 100000 poppies bloom in every village. Make Punjab the drug hub of the world. New kind of brown revolution after Green revolution. Maharaj ki .......
          2. J
            Jun 23, 2017 at 8:34 pm
            Total ban always has negative effect and then there are always rich and corrupt police who will find a way. I wish Gujarat government allows registered hotels to serve Liquor to Tourists. If controlled properly Government can earn high revenue through taxation.
            1. M
              Jun 23, 2017 at 7:06 pm
              only Congress can take tough decisions even if they go against popular opinion in public. Supreme courts order only destroyed a whole industry and made millions unemployed. Can never expect this from BJP, 10 million people are likely to be left unemployed just in one go and not even a single statement from central government!
              1. I
                Jun 23, 2017 at 8:30 pm
                1000's are KI-LLED on the road every day in India for no fault of theirs but because some INTO-XICATED ID-OT rams them. ...................... If JOB LOSS is the issue, allow the AGITATING FARMERS to GROW OPIUM and GANJA to get over the agriculture debacle faced by farmers all over India. ........ OR allow SUGAR CANE FARMERS to DISTIL RUM and sell it anyone as they please. .................... Why only Hotel workers need to be pampered.
                1. R
                  Rajdeep Anand
                  Jun 23, 2017 at 8:34 pm
                  Sure! Just like the Congress took tough decisions over the past 70 years, that have resulted in the mess that India is today! Get yourself a life, you poor lost soul!!
                2. A
                  Jun 23, 2017 at 6:47 pm
                  ha ha ha ,,,, chale c amrinder singh ji... 40 din ch nasha mukt banaun punjab nu.... lelo pnjabio... apne peri aap kuhaada maarea..... lelo maje
                  1. d
                    Jun 23, 2017 at 6:47 pm
                    The most dangerous thing has been done, it will increase drunk driving related accidents.
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