The Supreme Court has clarified that the ban on alcohol sales close to state and national highways is not applicable to bars and other liquor vends that are within municipal areas of a city.
The apex court on December 15 last year banned liquor sales within 500 metres of national and state highways in the country. But in dismissing a special leave petition on July 11, a Bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justices DY Chandrachud and Nageswara Rao held that the order "does not prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas. This clarification shall govern other municipal areas as well."
The clarification means that liquor outlets in city limits in the country but close to highways can open shop and apply for license renewal. The online news outlet LiveLaw said though the order was passed last month, it was published only on Wednesday on the Supreme Court website.
Many states, following the December 15 order, denotified highways to circumvent the ban. But in Karnataka, bar and restaurant owners had their pleas for denotifying a highway passing through Bengaluru dismissed by the Karnataka High Court.