Rajasthan government acts in compliance with the Supreme Court ban.
Jaipur: Following the Supreme Court ban on the sale of liquor on national and state highways, the Rajasthan government on Tuesday closed down bars being operated in many five-star hotels and famous restaurants on NH-8 in Jaipur and other highways.
Some most prominent properties where bars were closed include Le Meridien, Chokhi Dhani, Highway King and Pink Perl. Five-star hotel Le Meridien is situated in Jaipur’s Kukas area on National Highway – 8.
According to the preliminary reports, the government has ensured that bars in at least two dozen prominent properties are not operational in compliance with the Supreme Court ban.
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 also bars in restaurants, hotels and pubs can not operate within the same distance from the state and national highways.
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.
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.