Highway liquor ban does not apply to outlets within city limits, clarifies SC

Karnataka budget

New Delhi: Providing relief to liquor and hospitality industries, the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday clarified that the ban on the sale of alcohol within 500 metres of state and national highways does not apply within city limits.

Now, liquor vends which are situated within 500 metres from the highway and operate within city limits can run their business and renew their license.

According to a report, the apex court said in the order, “The purpose of the directions contained in the order dated 15 December 2016 is to deal with the sale of liquor along and in proximity to highways properly understood, which provides connectivity between cities, towns, and villages. The order does not prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas. This clarification shall govern other municipal areas as well. We have considered it appropriate to issue this clarification to set at rest any ambiguity.”

In a significant order passed on pleas of various states seeking modification of the court’s December 15, 2016 verdict, a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar had also made it clear that the judgement banning liquor vends along highways would also be applicable to bars, pubs, and restaurants as drunken driving leads to fatal road accidents.

The verdict had come on a PIL alleging that nearly 1.42 lakh people died per year in road mishaps and that the drunken driving is a major contributor. It had also directed that all signages indicating the presence of liquor vends will be prohibited along national and state highways.


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