Hotel fraternity not to move SC over liquor ban

Also, 65 liquor vends will be sealed following the Supreme Court order that no liquor shops, pubs, or hotel bars serving alcohol will be permitted within 500 metres of highways in the country from 1 April, government officials said.

Recently, the apex court also reduced the distance from 500 metres to 220 metres in municipal areas having population less than 20,000.

The apex court was listening to a petition filed by the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Telangana and All Assam Indian Made Foreign Liquors Retailers' Association. By taking this strategy into account the distance will be more than 500 metres and thus the top court's rule will not be violated.

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

This order is also applicable to bars, pubs and restaurants serving liquor, which give rise to drunken driving and consequential fatalities.

To counter the ban, the state administrations of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh have reportedly begun denotifying state highways to circumvent the ruling, an excise official told The Times of India.

Liquor shops, bars and permit rooms that operate within 250 metres from highways are likely to get relief as the state government is mulling the denotifying of highways and granting them status of city roads. About 90% of liquor shops were to be closed there as the states' topography provides no room for relocation. The liquor shop owners in Haryana are in panic since the estimated losses could amount to Rs 70 crore. In Delhi, the court verdict will lead to closure of about 50 liquor vends and cost another 65 hotels and restaurants, located along the six national highways that criss-cross the national capital, their licence to serve liquor.

He said the state government will also take a review of a notification pertaining to highways.

"The state government has classified some stretches of state highways as arterial roads".

The SC order could effect around 8,000 establishments in Maharashtra.

  • Leroy Wright