The Honorable Supreme Court has banned the sale of liquor on highways. The directive, which comes into effect on April 1, 2017, has affected numerous liquor vends, restaurants and pubs across the country.
While the liquor vends along national highways will have to down shutters, the restaurants and pubs within 500 meters of national highway will have to take liquor items off the menu.
“The objective is to check drunken driving and so there is no dilution of the original order passed by this court. Drunken driving as the objective is a major cause of road accidents in the country,” a bench headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar ruled.
According to available statistics, road accidents on national highways sniffed life out of 1.4 lakh people in 2015. Thus on average, 400 people die road accidents every day. The top court had, on a petition filed by 46-year-old Harman Singh Sandhu who was physically crippled in a serious road accident, passed the orders in December 2015.
The latest ruling clarifies that the ban is applicable on the outlets that sell liquor as well as on the establishments that serve liquor within 500 meters of national highways.
8000 establishments in the state of Maharashtra will be affected by the directive. The North-Eastern states of Sikkim and Meghalaya which have a mountainous terrain have been exempted from the court’s order.
The rule has also been relaxed for areas which have population of less than 20,000. In such areas the ban is applicable on establishments within 220 meters of the highway.
The directive has been passed in the “interest of the public health”.