The Supreme Court has exempted municipal areas from the purview of its order banning sale of liquor within 500 m of national and state highways. The order came from a three-judge bench comprising cji J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao on July 11 while it dismissed an appeal filed by Chandigarh-based NGO Arrive Safe Society.
The NGO had questioned a notification of Chandigarh administration denotifying three stretches of state highways as “major district roads”, alleging that this was done to circumvent the court’s order banning sale of liquor along highways.
The court said the ban order will not apply to licensed establishments within municipal areas. “The purpose of the directions contained in the order dated December 15, 2016 is to deal with the sale of liquor along and in proximity of highways properly understood, which provide connectivity between cities, towns and villages. The order does not prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas. This clarification shall govern other municipal areas as well. We have considered it appropriate to issue this clarification to set at rest any ambiguity and to obviate repeated recourse to Interlocutory Applications…,” the order said.
The court added that the liquor ban order “addresses dangers to life and safety caused by drunken driving on national and state highways… deals with the problem from the perspective of the availability of alcohol”.