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State exempted from 500-m cap on liquor vends

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court order on Friday to shut down liquor vends within 500 meters of national and state highways from Saturday exempted hill states, including Meghalaya, and areas having population up to 20,000.
In a significant order passed on pleas of various states seeking modification of the court’s December 15, 2016, verdict, a bench headed by Chief Justice J.S Khehar also made it clear that the judgment banning liquor vends along highways would also be applicable to bars, pubs and restaurants as drunken driving leads to fatal road accidents.
The bench, also comprising Justices D.Y Chandrachud and L. Nageswara Rao, said, “It is suitably modifying” its December 15 verdict as there has been “some substance” in seeking relief and exempted Sikkim and Meghalaya from the 500-meter cap  on liquor vends alongside highways.
It further modified the 500-meter cap rule for Himachal Pradesh and local areas, which are alongside highways with a population of up to 20,000, and said they may have liquor vends at a distance of 220 meters from the highways.
On the issue of non-extension of liquor vends’ licenses beyond March 31, the apex court said the licenses, which were given before December 15, 2016, will be valid till September 30 in case of Telangana and the same would be operational till June 30 in Andhra Pradesh. (PTI)

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