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Liqour ban: HC asks state to clarify its stand on highways


The High Court of Karnataka on Monday issued notices to the state government, the Union government, the National Highways Authority of India and others in a batch of petitions challenging the decision of the state government not to renew the excise licences in view of the Supreme Court direction.

The petitioners stated that the authorities have erred in not considering that the highway path of all the national highways passing through Bengaluru city were bypassed by use of other roads.

The petitioners contended that several roads which were previously forming part of national highway network, but within the jurisdiction of urban bodies and municipal limits, were declared urban and local authority roads and also maintained by the local administration. The petition contended that the mere fact that a part of 77.64 km of road, passing through Bengaluru city, is closed for vehicular movement on occasions such as the New Year’s Eve itself proves that it is not part of highway.

Justice Vineet Kothari directed the state government to clarify its stand by the next date of hearing on Thursday. “In view of the urgency in the matter, let the learned Advocate General clarify the stand of the state in this regard on the next date of hearing,” the court said.

Around 3,500 bars in Karnataka, 683 of them in Bengaluru, have been either closed or forced to shut liquor service as their licence was not renewed due to a Supreme Court judgement banning bars within 500 metres of highways.

Notice to state, blast victim
The high court on Monday issued notices to state government and 2013 Malleswaram blast victim N S Leesha on a writ appeal filed by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee has requested the single-judge bench not to proceed with the hearing on the fresh petition filed by Leesha during the pendency of the writ appeal.

In the petition, the MHA contended that the state and the central governments have given financial help to Leesha. It stated that the order of the single-judge bench to form a policy for helping blast victims was beyond its scope. The single-judge bench had directed the state government to provide a job to Leesha and directed the Union government to formulate a policy.

Source: Deccan Herald

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