In a surprise judgement, Supreme Court has ordered Wine Shops to shut down from National Highways. Owing to too many accidents due to drunk driving, licensed Wine Shops will be required to comply with the judgement till March 2017.
Earlier, in May Centre had asked States to not to issue Wine Shop Licenses to shops opening at National Highways. With availability of wine shops at National Highways, drink and drive has become normal at nights.
In September, the Supreme Court had hinted it was determined to enforce a total ban on liquor shops along national highways but only after elaborate discussions and consultations with all the stakeholders like state excise commissioners, revenue officials and also alcohol shop owners. The court had in May 2013 first asked the national highways ministry to draft a policy asking states to close shops along the national highways.
Earlier, after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Centre, had explained the draft policy on banning liquor shops along highways, the bench had directed excise commissioners of all states to hold a meeting in Delhi to discuss the feasibility of the Centre’s plans and come back to court after two months.
Now, with this judgement, Wine Shops at National Highways will have to run dry after March 2017.