New Delhi: The Supreme Court modified on Thursday its order banning liquor vends within 500 metres on national and state highways, reducing the distance to 220 metres in areas having a population of up to 20,000.
A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, however, made it clear that its December 15, 2016 order banning such vends within 500 metres of highways shall remain operative for areas other than specified in today’s order.
The bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and L N Rao, said that the verdict was given keeping in mind road accidents owing to drunken driving. It clarified that licences given to liquor vendors prior to the December 15 judgement would be valid up to September 30 this year.
The other liquor vends will have to be shut down from tomorrow (April 1) as per the December 15 judgement.
The 220-metre criterion for allowing liquor vends along highways will also be made applicable to hill states like Sikkim, Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh.
The apex court’s decision came on pleas seeking a relook at its verdict banning liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state highways from April 1 with Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi having said that the judgement needs rectification as the “budget of the states will go for a six”.