Supreme Court bans liquor sales along national and state highways

The Supreme Court of India has banned the sale of liquor along highways in India.

It has ordered that all the licenses of liquor shops in and around the national and state highways in all the states should be closed when their licenses expire.

During the trial, the court asked the central government for its opinion. The center said liquor shops on the national and state highways should be removed.

The bars and liquor shops can continue to operate till the time the licenses are valid, an SC bench headed by Chief Justic TS Thakur said in an order today.

The move is likely to hit liquor sales in India and affect a large number of bars and liquor shop outlets. Though many bars and outlets are located inside cities, many highways pass through city premises as well, and bars and liquor shops at such places will be shut down at the expiry of their licenses.

The order comes in a litigation pointing out that over 1.5 lakh fatalities take place every year in road mishaps related to driving under the influence of alcohol.

The court had earlier pointed out that state governments have a constitutional obligation to prohibit liquor sale. The directive principles of state policy urge the government to prohibit intoxicating drinks and drugs injurious to health, except for medicinal purposes.

During the hearing, the court refused to entertain the plea that such shops generate revenue for the state governments.

It urged state governments to adopt a positive attitude to remove “the menace”.