SC To Hear States' Petitions On Highway Liquor Ban Today

SC dismisses plea against Chandigarh admn for denotifying highways

SC dismisses plea against Chandigarh admn for denotifying highways

The apex court's refusal to set aside the notification may lead other states to denotify highways criss-crossing the cities to allow liquor vends to continue operating. As long as a road is a highway our order on liquor ban will apply, the moment it ceases to be a highway the order will not apply. Court has agreed to hear these petitions on July 12th. But the bench was reluctant and said "All IA's dismissed". There has been much news floating around that is not true.

While the Supreme Court on Tuesday indicated that it would dismiss a petition filed against the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruling allowing the Chandigarh administration to denotify highways, sources in the Public Works Department say Karnataka can not denotify national highways since they are the property of the Union government.

"If it is within city, you can touch it, if it is not, you cannot", a three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar said. "We will clarify whether the order passed by the High Court is violative of earlier order of apex court", the bench said. "It is a double-whammy for us because of the liquor ban and the road works on Church Street". However, the SC rejected all the objections to denotification of the highways.

An NGO, which had originally sought removal of all liquor outlets along highways to curb road fatalities, had challenged the Chandigarh administration's decision.

"If a state has the authority to denotify a highway to municipal road, then we will test whether it is doing so to violate the SC order".

Several states, including Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab, Telangana and Haryana and various others had told the apex court that 500-metre distance is much higher and should be reduced.

The court observed that the the objective of its original judgment in which it barred alcohol outlets within 500 metres of all highways was to ensure that drivers under the influence of alcohol do get on to high-speed national highways. Rajasthan had also denotified certain sections of state highways passing through populous towns in the state.

The Court remarked "that the intention behind the order was as long as it remains a highway, sale of liquor within 500 meters would be banned".

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