The Punjab and Haryana has made it clear that no liquor vends, even those within MC area but outside the town, shall be allowed to operate without obtaining the permission of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).

HC was of the view that as per the Control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002, it would be essential that the permission for occupying land outside municipal limits of towns, cities and villages but falling on the highway, would be required to be sought from the highway administration.

“It shall be for the highway administration to examine individual cases and determine the proximity of the liquor vend to the towns, cities and villages on the highways within the municipal areas keeping in view the safety and convenience of traffic in terms of the provisions of the 2002 Act,” the HC ordered.

Division bench comprising Justice A K Mittal and Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal passed these orders while disposing of a petition filed by an NGO, Arrive Safe through its president, Harman Sidhu. The petitioner had sought removal of all kinds of advertisements/ hoardings/ signs/ signage/ decorative lights still being displayed and not to issue licences for sale/ service of liquor within 500 m of national and state highways in contravention to the judgments passed by Supreme Court (SC).

Bench also made it clear that it would be open for the petitioner to bring a individual case violating the norms for location of liquor vends on the highways to the notice of the competent authority for taking appropriate action.

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