Liquor Ban Along Highways To Continue: Supreme Court
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the petition filed against the Punjab & Haryana High Court’s order that allowed the administration of Chandigarh to denotify highways within city limits. The petition was filed by an NGO called Arrive Safe Society.
It also dismissed petitions of private bars and hotels associations which sought modification or clarification of the Apex Court’s order on the ban on the sale of liquor alongside national and state highways.
A special bench of the Apex Court comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud observed such requests (from hoteliers) were unprecedented and not maintainable.
It may be recalled that Punjab and Haryana High Court allowed the Chandigarh administration to reclassify highways within city limits thus permitting liquor sales alongside the city roads. Arrive Safe Society filed a petition against the HC order in the Supreme Court. The bench stated that so long as the highways remained highways, the sale of liquor within 500 metres was banned. It said they had now ceased to be highways.
The Supreme Court said their judgment was based on the intelligible differentia that highways with high-speed traffic should be liquor-free zones, but traffic is slow within city limits. The law passed by the legislature or the executive can take away the basis of a judgment but cannot undo or de-legitimise a judgment, the court observed.
While making it clear that it would not entertain any applications from private parties the Court said it would restrict itself to the interlocutory applications filed by Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh.