The license of existing shops expired at the end of the financial year on March 31
Jaipur: Liquor shops on National Highway – 8 that connects Jaipur to Delhi were closed on Saturday as the ban imposed by the Supreme Court came into effect. In compliance with the court order, the state government didn’t renew the license of existing shops along the highway and didn’t give license to new ones. The license of existing shops expired at the end of the financial year on March 31.
As per the Supreme Court orders, no liquor shop should be operational within 500 meters of state and national highways. Not only liquor shops, but restaurants, bars and pubs selling liquor will also not be operational within the same distance from the state and national highways.
The Supreme Court banned the sale of liquor on national highways after hearing a petition claiming drunken driving to be a major cause for mishaps on national highways. Nearly 1.4 lakh people die in road accidents every year with drunken driving being a major factor, according to the National Crime Record Bureau data.
A bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khhar heard the public interest litigation (PIL) and passed the judgment. Some organizations filed an appeal against the order following which it was modified and relief was given to some states including Sikkim and Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh and Telangana.
The matter came up for hearing in the SC in 2013 when the Supreme Court asked the national highways ministry to draft a policy asking states to shut shops along national highways. In 2015, the top court hinted that it wanted to enforce a total ban on liquor stores along national highways.