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Supreme Court bans hotels, restaurants along highways from serving liquor

The Supreme Court on Friday said hotels and restaurants falling within 500 metres on either side of the national and state highways cannot serve liquor.

A bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice L. Nageswara Rao, however, relaxed the ban to 220 metres in respect of municipal bodies with 20,000 or less population falling along the highways.

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to relax the March 31 order banning liquor vends along national and state highways, but gave relaxation for areas with population less than 20,000.

The top court modified its order for areas having a population of up to 20,000 and reduced the distance norm in these areas to 220 metres.

A bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, however, made it clear that itsDecember 15, 2016 order banning such vends+ within 500 metres of highways shall remain operative for areas other than specified in today’s order.

The bench, also comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and LN Rao, said that the verdict was given keeping in mind road accidents owing to drunken driving.

Rejecting Attorney General’s opinion to Kerala government, the apex court said the ban on sale of liquor on highways applied to big hotels and restaurants too.

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