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Liquor ban: Delhi government orders de-sealing of vends along highway in municipal areas


Liquor shops, bars, and pubs along highways in Delhi that had downed shutters following a Supreme Court order will now be reopened as the Delhi government has ordered the de-sealing of these establishments. The government’s directive came following the apex court’s clarification on the issue that its order does not prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas.

The Excise Department in an order directed the officers concerned to de-seal such establishments located within 500 metres of highways in municipal areas.

The move implies that all the liquor shops, bars, and restaurants serving alcohol, which were sealed following the court’s order, will be reopened in the three municipal areas which cover most parts of the city. The SC had in December last year banned the sale of liquor within 500 metres of state and national highways across the nation from April 1 this year.

However, in July, it gave its nod to the Chandigarh administration’s notification denotifying some highways to allow sale of liquor from vends within 500 metres of the roads. In April this year, the Excise Department had formed a panel to seal liquor shops and bars falling within the 500- metre radius from highways.

“In view of the court’s directions, the in-charge along with the team, is directed to de-seal liquor stores (falling in municipal areas) which were sealed in compliance of the Supreme Court order dated December 15, 2016 and March 31, 2017,” the department said in its order.

A senior government official, who did not wish to be named, said the department will de-seal all the liquor shops and bars along highways in municipal areas.

The Excise Department order reiterated a part of the apex court order that said: “The purpose of the directions contained in the order dated December 15, 2016 is to deal with the sale of liquor along and in proximity of highways. “The order does not prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas. This clarification shall govern other municipal areas as well.”

Source: Financial Express

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