Highway liquor ban does not apply inside town limits: SC

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A pall of gloom had set when disillusioned bar owners of the Central Business District in Bengaluru had reconciled themselves to either shutting shop or relocating. Though the order was delivered on July 11, there was clarity on the issue only on Wednesday after the order was published on the court website on Wednesday.

"The objective of the directions contained in the order dated 15 December 2016 is to deal with the sale of liquor along and in proximity of highways properly understood, which provide connectivity between cities, towns and villages", the order said.

The ban on sale of liquor along the national and state highways is not applicable to roads that fall inside the city or town areas governed by municipal bodies, the Supreme Court clarified on Wednesday.

Commenting on the High Court order, Joint Excise Commissioner, Rajendra Prasad explained that around 2,800 liquor shops would be impacted as there was no possibility now of renewing their licenses at their present locations. This means that the livelihoods of over 4,000 people and their families were at stake. "It is a good sign", said Ashish Kothare, member of the Bengaluru Pub Owners' Association.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's cabinet has chose to de-notify state highways in urban areas of the state.

Chandigarh, August 23The order of the Supreme Court has paved the way for the reopening of bars in hotels situated on state and national highways in the city, which were lying closed for four months.

The state government was targeting an excise revenue of Rs 18,000 crore in the 2017-18 fiscal against the Rs 16,484 crore of 2016-17. Among them, 70 hotels with above three-star status will be bars. However, later today, Supreme Court exempted Arunachal Pradesh and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands from the 500-metre cap on liquor vends along highways.

"The direction for the renewal of the liquor licences is expected any moment".

The SC has finally given permission for the renewal of liquor licences in the CBD.

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