SC observations to have no impact on liquor shops in TS

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"NHAI is not maintaining any roads inside the city".

The court also said that the goal of its ban was to ensure high speeding vehicles on highways don't have drivers under the influence of alcohol.

Though the court has not passed an order on the same, the observation will come as huge relief to thousands of liquor vendors across states.

The plea was filed by an NGO, Arrive Safe Society, of Chandigarh that has alleged that the administration issued the notification to bypass Supreme Court's December 15, 2016 order banning liquor vends in national and state highways.

The Supreme Court said that there was no blanket ban on bars near highways within city limnits. For example, outlets serving liquor near Bengaluru's M.G Road or Chennai's Anna Salai had to shut shop as these roads are highways.

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"Why court gave the order is because when you are in fast-moving traffic, you should not be under the influence of anything...the goal was to ensure that people don't stop in the way, suppose when they are driving from Delhi to Agra, have a drink and then drive", said CJI Khehar. But, the Chandigarh administration decision was challenged in the apex court and the latter was hearing the same plea when it made that statement. "However, the next hearing is scheduled on July 11 and we will take steps depending on the order", excise commissioner Manjunath Naik told TOI.

Following which, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a notice to the Punjab government.

Meanwhile, states like Karnataka have already approached Centre asking to denotify national highways passing through the limits of urban local bodies.

In Mysuru district, over 165 bars including those State and National Highways that cut through the city limits closed on the midnight of June 30 to comply with the July 1 deadline imposed by the Apex Court and they were waiting for relief from the Supreme Court or the Centre.

L K Atheeq, principal secretary to the chief minister said: "Obviously, the state government does not have the power to denotify any national highway".

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