HC reserves order on plea to denotify national highways stretches in Bengaluru

A view of Karnataka High Court in Bangalore. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

A view of Karnataka High Court in Bangalore. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy  

Owners of liquor joints affected by the ban want govt. to renew their excise licences

The High Court of Karnataka on Friday reserved its order on a batch of petitions filed by the owners of liquor joints situated in the city’s upmarket localities, seeking direction to the State government to renew their excise licences by declaring that roads passing through the city’s central areas cannot be treated as national highways at present because of changed characteristics of these roads.

Justice Vineet Kothari reserved the verdict after completion of arguments on behalf of Siddi Enterprises, which runs Fusion Lounge Bar and Restaurant on Brigade Road, and other petitioners, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, and the State government.

It was contended on behalf of the petitioners that there is no need for issuance of a notification declassifying roads passing through the city centre from the list of NHs as they lost the characteristic of a national highway soon after the construction of bypass and prohibition of movement of highway traffic into the city.

However, the counsel for the Union Ministry expressed difficulty in denotifying these roads from the list of NHs as the Supreme Court had made it clear that prohibition of having a liquor shop within 500 meter zone from the NH, State highways or their service roads applies to the NHs passing through the limits of city municipal corporations.

On the other hand, the State reiterated its stand that some of the prominent roads passing through the city centre were classified as NHs several decades ago and it cannot renew liquor licences unless the Ministry denotifies these roads from the list of NHs. Meanwhile, the government counsel told the court that the State was examining future action on the August 14 communication from the Ministry, which had rejected the government’s recommendation for denotifying certain stretches of NHs in Bengaluru and other cities and towns.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 3:22:12 AM |

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