NEW DELHI: Giving relief to the pubs near highways, which have been shut down for selling liquor, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said there was nothing wrong in denotifying highways if such roads are within a city. A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar observed that the purpose of the ban was to ensure speeding vehicles on highways don’t have drivers under the influence of liquor and said: “There are city roads and there are roads outside the city.
There are congested roads. The idea behind the judgement was that in fast-moving traffic, you should not be under the influence of liquor.”This comes as a major relief to liquor vends and pubs, especially in Chandigarh, where State administrations have denotified the roads within the city.
The court was hearing a plea against the Chandigarh administration’s decision to denotify certain roads, allegedly with an aim to circumvent the apex court’s verdict banning liquor vends within 500 metres from State and National highways. The court will now hear it on July 11.
The plea, filed by the NGO ‘Arrive Safe Society’, claimed the Chandigarh administration issued the notification to bypass the court order. The plea also stated that by denotifying State highways and renaming them as major district roads, the Chandigarh administration had made a mockery of the Supreme Court order. The NGO moved the top court after the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed its plea, holding that it could not refer to any law which has been violated while issuing the said notification.