The apex court ruled that the national ban on the sale of liquor within a particular distance of national and state highways. The SC also said that the prohibition extends to not just liquor vending shops, but bars and pubs too. In cities and large towns, these establishments cannot function if they are within 500 metres of a highway.
The court, however, reduced the 500-metre threshold to 220 meters in areas where the local population is less than 20,000.
The SC bench that heard petitions against its order from December 15, 2016, said that not extending the ban to restaurants, bars and pubs would defeat the purpose of curbing drunken driving. Last December, the court asked all state governments to close down all liquor shops that function within a range of 500 meters from the edge of highways. States have also been asked to “cease and desist” from issuing excise licenses after 31 March, reported Indian Express.
While Meghalaya and Sikkim have been excluded from the order, establishments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana also have a few more months to remain open. The excise year in Telangana ends on 30 September, and in AP, it ends on 30 June.
Nagesh Reddy, owner of 10 Downing Street in Chennai, said, “We have not received a notice, so we won’t have to shut. But many pubs on Mount Road will have to, as it is a state highway. The 10 Downing Street franchise in Coimbatore will shut down. After the weekend, we will think of approaching the court for relief.”
Associations in Bengaluru, however, said that many pubs and bars that have licenses valid till 1 July this year will remain open.
“As of now there’s just hearsay. We haven’t got any official word from any government department. But for those bars that renewed their licenses before December 15 2016, their license is valid till July 1 this year,” said Ashish Kothare, member of the National Restaurant Association of India’s Managing Committee. We could see alot of pubs close down on M.G.Road, Brigade Road if norms are not met with.
Freddy’s Cocktail Lounge at Hosur Road in Bengaluru confirmed that their bar would remain shut. “We have closed the bar counter in view of the SC ruling and only the restaurant is functional from today,” said Jineesh, the manager.
SC rule on bars on highways. Who has exact news on the bars and pubs closed in chennai. This order seems ominous. pic.twitter.com/ZGJTCY13b4
— Vasu (@vasudevan_k) April 1, 2017
So its a rather debatable situation. The court has taken this step to curb down the drink and drive cases and the incidents related to it. So, lets hope all’s well that ends well.
A message from us to our dear readers: “Please Don’t Drink and Drive”. “Stay Safe Folks”
News credits: “Indian Express” and “The News Minute”