Tamil Nadu

Court not sure if SC allowed liquor sale on highways

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Directs State to approach apex court for clarification

The Madras High Court on Friday doubted whether an order passed by the Supreme Court on July 11, making certain clarifications with respect to its December 15 order banning sale of liquor within 500 metres from national and State highways, permits sale of liquor on highways that pass through municipal areas, as it had been understood by the State government.

The first Division Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M. Sundar felt that the State government should approach the apex court through an appropriate application and obtain further clarification on the specific issue as to whether it was entitled to open the government-run liquor shops on highways passing through city and town limits without declassifying them.

‘Highways not saved’

“It appears to us that even after the July 11 clarification, the highways passing through municipal areas are not saved,” the Chief Justice said, while hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by advocate K. Balu of Pattali Makkal Katchi and president of Advocates’ Forum for Social Justice.

Contending that the government had misconstrued the Supreme Court’s clarifying order, the petitioner urged the court to quash a communication sent by Commissioner of Prohibition and Excise to all Collectors on September 1, asking them to permit liquor shops in municipal areas even if they were situated close to highways.

Advocate-General Vijay Narayan contended that the Supreme Court had passed three different orders on the issue and the latest order passed in July stated that its December 15 order that banned the sale of liquor within 500 metres from highways would not apply to licensed establishments in city corporations, cityh municipalities and Town Panchayats.

Not in agreement with the contention, the Chief Justice said that her Bench would pass an interim order on Tuesday with respect to the Prohibition Commissioner’s communication.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 7:51:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/court-not-sure-if-sc-allowed-liquor-sale-on-highways/article19694643.ece

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