Uttarakhand News

Supreme Court bans highway liquor shops, stay order on Uttarakhand liquor ban

In order to curb the menace of drunk driving, Supreme Court provided a relaxation in its earlier judgment regarding shutting down liquor shops on national as well as state highways. Last year in December, the apex court ordered closure of all liquor shops within 500 meters radius from the highways. The court also directed governments not to renew the license and unless these liquor shops are relocated.

Uttarakhand liquor ban

The Supreme Court fo India, New Delhi (Image Source)

On Saturday, Supreme Court ruled that cities, towns and municipal areas with a population of 20,000 or less can vend liquor beyond the range of 220 meters from highways instead of 500 meters as  stated earlier. However, the Supreme Court made it clear that the ban imposed also applies to restaurants, pub and bars within the 500 meters range and not just liquor vendors. Hilly states such as Sikkim and Meghalaya are completely exempted from the ruling due to their topological circumstances.

Supreme Court order not feasible in Uttarakhand

While the states such as Sikkim and Meghalaya are completely exempted from the Supreme Court’s ruling due to their topology, Uttarakhand seems no different when it comes to the topology which 86% is mountainous and 65% is covered by forest. It would not be feasible to move the liquor shops. No special provisions have been made in regard to the hilly states such as Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Supreme Court stays High Court’s liquor ban in Chamoli, Rudraprayag and Uttarakashi

Supreme Court issued stay order regarding Uttarakhand High Court’s decision to ban liquor shops in three district of Uttarakhand where revered shrines of Char Dham pilgrimage is located. The Uttarakhand government has challenged the high court’s verdict before the apex court stating the complete liquor ban will result in steep decline in state revenue.