Bijnor admin asks vendors to remove liquor vends

The excise licence to most of the liquor shops along highways were issued prior to December 15 previous year and they will remain operational till June 30, officials pointed out.

The court, however, did not give relief to Tamil Nadu, represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, from the 500- metre criteria. "We are expecting him to go to the Supreme Court with a review petition and he can get us out of this crisis on the lines of Sikkim and Meghalaya", said GLTA president Dattaprasad Naik.

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On March23, the Tamil Nadu government had also moved the top court to extend the time for relocation of retail liquor shops along the highways. The apex court on Friday modified its earlier order and banned the liquor shops within 220 metres on national and state highways. "Some towns in totality are situated along the state highways and if you say that liquor vends can not be allowed in the vicinity of 500 meters then where will they go", he told the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and L N Rao.

Upholding its previous order, the Supreme Court of India banned the sale of liquor shops along highways from April 1, media reports said on Friday.

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As Rohatgi named some small towns saying that the restriction of 500 meters would cross them and contended that because of the ban "the budget of every state has gone for a six", the bench said: "You are not telling us which town will go".

He further said, "Some exception can be granted to the states to relax the condition especially as far as the state highways are concerned by reducing the limit say to 100 metres". The court said there was no question of exempting these establishments, as this would be a dilution of its objective of preventing drunk driving. It also says that the outlets should not be directly accessible from national and state highway and situated within a distance of 500 metres.

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The court noted that people had already made investments in getting the licenses and a state like Telangana issued its licenses in November 2016 - less than a month before the prohibition was imposed. During the hearing, most of the parties had requested the court to defer the implementation of its order - the states submitted that the order would hit their excise revenue.

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