KalingaTV Nesw Network
Bhubaneswar: In a major relief to the liquor and hospitality industry across the country, the Supreme Court on Wednesday clarified its order over the ban on liquor shops within 500 meters of Highways saying that the ban on the sale of alcohol will not apply within city limits.
According to the apex court’s order, liquor vends which fall under the city limits but operate within 500 meters of a highway can sell liquor while others can apply for license renewal.
“The purpose of the directions contained in the order dated 15 December 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,” said the order of top court.
The court had last month allowed the state authorities to denotify highways passing through the municipal limits. Many outlets were still waiting for denotification orders.
Many states, including Odisha, had renamed various roads, including State Highways passing through towns and cities, as Urban roads and thus created a passage for the liquor shop owners across the state.
The Works Department of Odisha government had issued a notice on April 13 saying roads falling within the limits of the Municipal Corporations, Municipalities, Notified Area Councils, Sub-Divisional Head Quarters, Block Head Quarters and Tehsil Headquarters will be named as Urban roads. However, the notification did not cover the National Highways passing through Urban areas.
The apex court in December 2016 had imposed a ban on sale of liquor within 500 metres of state and national highways across the country. Later, in March 2017, a bench headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, while hearing a batch of petitions seeking modification in the order, had said that in areas where population is less than 20,000, the distance would be around 220 meters.