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The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the Chandigarh administration's decision to denotify certain State highways in wake of the top court ordering the removal of all liquor vends within 500 meters of national and state highways across the country.
Dismissing the petition by Chandigarh-based NGO Arrive Safe Society, the bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice L Nageswara Rao said:, "If it (administration) had the intention of regularising all the liquor vends which went (consequent to top court order) then it would have denotified all the roads, but it did not do that."
"It (Chandigarh administration) did a classification.
If it is a fast moving traffic area, then did not touch it. (But) within the city they touched it (denotified it)," the bench said not accepting the NGO's contention that the denotification was done with an alleged objective of circumventing the top court order.
Not accepting the submission by the NGO Arrive Safe Society, the bench further said, "If they had gone outside the limits of municipality, we would have thought ..."
NGO Arrive Safe Society had moved the top court challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court order dismissing its plea against the denotification of 12 highway stretches passing through the city.
The notification was issued on March 16.
The top court had on March 31 ruled that hotels and restaurants falling within 500 metres on either side of the national and state highways cannot serve liquor.
The order came as it rejected a batch of applications both by some state governments and the owners of hotels and restaurants located on the highways seeking modification of the December 15, 2016, order banning liquor vends with 500 metres - on either side - of national or the State highways.
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