On Wednesday SC relaxes the 500m away highway liquor ban from Arunachal Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Island. Top Court on Wednesday said that in that the state and Union Terriorty can have the liquor shop if the shop is 220 meters away from the highway.
The bench led by Chief Justice JS Khehar observed that the sale of alcohol accounted for nearly 50% of Arunachal Pradesh’s revenue, and that 916 shops of 1,011 were affected by the 500-metre restriction, PTI reported, they also took note of the geographical quirks of Arunachal Pradesh and the islands and concluded that they “deserved parity” with Sikkim and Meghalaya. On March 31, the north-eastern States of Sikkim and Meghalaya got a full exemption from the 500-m no-liquor zone ban after the court took into consideration their hilly terrain and also the fact that 82% of its area was forest land and over 90% of its liquor shops would be closed if the ban was imposed strictly in its original form.
That was December 15, 2016 when the Supreme Court ruled that, all the liquor shop should be removed which are in the range of 500 meters from the highway. The Supreme Court passed that decision after hearing a plea that claimed that almost 1.42 lakh people died in road accidents and drunken driving is one of the major reasons of the cause. The ban was ordered to prevent drunk driving, one of the major killers plaguing Indian roads.
“Drunk driving is a potent cause of fatalities and injuries in road accidents,” the bench had said. “The Constitution preserves and protects the right to life as an over-arching Constitutional value.”
The apex court has only lifted the ban from the states of Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya and all the states having less than 20,000 population