In a move seeking to circumvent the Supreme Court’s order to ban liquor vends within 500 meters of national and state highways, the Rajasthan Public Works Department (PWD) has decided to denotify its state highways and recategorise them as urban roads, ANI reports.
In December last year, the Supreme Court had order the closure of all liquor shops along the national and state highway and directed governments to ”cease and desist” from issuing excise licenses after March 31. However, providing some relief form liquor vendors operating in less populated area, the court later relaxed the limit from 500m to 220m for “municipal corporation, city, town or local authority” provided the population was less than 20,000.
The move to reduce the limit form 500m to 220m, in less populated areas, came after the court took cognizance of multiple petitions filed against the previous order and issued new a order on December 15. The bench headed by chief Justice J S Khehar also observed that licences obtained before the December judgment will remain valid till September 30. However, most licences were valid till March 31.
The Supreme court, however, refused to excuse hotel, pubs and bars from this order. Through its order, the Supreme Court aims to reduce drunken driving incidents on state and national highways.