Supreme Court orders ban on liquor shops on state & national highways

SC orders ban on liquor shops on national and state highways. The apex court said all existing licences of liquor shops on highways will not be renewed after March 31, 2017. Concerned over 1.5 lakh fatalities every year in road mishaps, the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered ban on liquor sales on state and national highways across the country.

Supreme court bench headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur directed the order on a batch of pleas seeking a direction to amend excise laws to ensure that no liquor is sold alongside highways. However, the court said that the liquor shops can operate till the period they were having their licenses. “All existing licences of liquor shops on highways will not be renewed after March 31, 2017,” the court said.

The court also said that all signages indicating presence of liquor shops will be prohibited on national and state highways. Earlier, the court also rapped the Centre for not doing anything concrete leading it to “step in”. It has been alleged that despite the recommendation of a committee to ban the sale of alcohol on state and national highway, states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were sticking to their prevailing excise policies under which licences were being issued to liquor shops along the highways.
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“An analysis of road accident data 2015 reveals that around 1,374 accidents and 400 deaths take place every day on Indian roads, resulting in 57 accidents and loss of 17 lives on an average every hour.”India being a signatory to the Brasilia Declaration, it is imperative that policy guidelines are framed to control road accidents. Also, the excise policies of Indian states and Union territories should be amended to conform to the spirit of Article 47 r/w Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” one of the pleas had said.

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