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Supreme Court ban on liquor vends along highways to stay
 
(NEW DELHI, Mar 31,2017):The Supreme Court on Friday refused to relax an earlier order banning liquor vends along national and state highways, but gave relaxation for areas with population less than 20,000.

The top court modified its order for areas having a population of up to 20,000 and reduced the distance norm in these areas to 220 metres.

A bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, however, made it clear that its December 15, 2016 order banning such vends+ within 500 metres of highways shall remain operative for areas other than specified in today's order.

The bench, also comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and LN Rao, said that the verdict was given keeping in mind road accidents owing to drunken driving.

The top court said the liquor vends have to move away 500m from national highway and state highway and also should not be visible from the highways.

Rejecting Attorney General's opinion to Kerala government, the apex court said the ban on sale of liquor on highways applied to big hotels and restaurants too.

SC also allowed liquor vends with licences valid till September 30 in Telangana and June 30 in Andhra to continue beyond March 31 till expiry of licence.

The other liquor vends will have to be shut down from tomorrow (April 1) as per the December 15 judgment.

Distance rule was exempted for hill states like Sikkim and Meghalaya but Himachal was asked to follow 220m distance rule.

The apex court's decision came on pleas seeking a relook at its verdict banning liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state highways from April 1 with Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi having said that the judgement needs rectification as the "budget of the states will go for a six".


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