You are here: Home » Economy & Policy » News
Business Standard

Highway liquor ban: SC exempts Arunachal, Andaman from 500-metre cap

SC relaxed cap while noting that almost half of Arunachal Pradesh's revenue comes from liquor sale

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Highway liquor ban: SC exempts Arunachal, Andaman & Nicobar from 500-m cap

In a relief to and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the (SC) on Wednesday relaxed the 500-metre cap on vends across the national and state there.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar relaxed the cap while noting that almost half the state revenue of came from the sale of and 916 out of a total of 1011 shops have been affected by the 500-metre cap.

The counsel appearing for said that 80 per cent of the state was covered by forests and, out of a total state revenue of Rs 441.61 crore, Rs 210 crore came from sale.

"The counsel appearing for Arunachal Pradesh states that the terrain in the state is similar to that of states of and and, accordingly, Arunachal Pradesh deserves parity given to and in the order passed by this court on March 31. The prayer is allowed," the bench, also comprising Justices and L N Rao, said.

The bench also similarly allowed the prayer of the Islands and relaxed the 500-metre cap according to its March 31 order.

The apex court had on March 31 said that liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state will have to shut down from April 1, but had exempted the hill states of Sikkim, and and areas having a population of up to 20,000.

The apex court also dealt with a similar plea of Uttarakhand which also sought a relaxation of the cap.

However, the counsel for Uttarakhand could not furnish the data on the revenue loss and was asked to furnish details.

"You provide us [with] the data. We will give you time. We are not agreeable at this stage. You provide the data first," the bench said and posted the matter for hearing next week.

A similar petition filed by Kerala also came up for hearing before the bench but the counsel appearing for the state said he would amend the application.

In a significant order on March 31 on the pleas of various states seeking modification of the court's December 15, 2016, verdict, the apex court had said that the ban on liquor vends along the would also be applicable to bars, pubs and restaurants as drunken driving led to fatal road accidents, particularly on highways which have high-speed traffic.

It had modified the 500-metre cap rule for Meghalaya, Sikkim, and areas alongside highways with a population of up to 20,000, saying they may have liquor vends at a distance of 220 metres from highways.

On the issue of non-extension of liquor vends' licences beyond March 31, the apex court had said the licences, which were given before December 15, 2016, will be valid until September 30 in case of Telangana and would be operational till June 30 in

The court had ordered a ban on all liquor shops along the national and the state highways and made it clear that licences of existing shops will not be renewed after March 31.

The verdict had come on a PIL alleging that nearly 1.42 lakh people died per year in road mishaps and drunken driving was a major contributor.

It had also directed that all signages indicating the presence of liquor vends will be prohibited along the national and state highways.

First Published: Wed, July 12 2017. 22:42 IST