In an order that could prompt other states to de-notify their highways, the Supreme Court has rejected a plea that had challenged the de-notification of highways by Chandigarh administration. The decision could motivate other states to follow similar strategies to allow sale of liquor along highways. The petition was filed by an NGO and it had challenged an earlier order by a Punjab and Haryana High Court that had upheld the de-notification order passed by Chandigarh administration. The petition had argued that such de-notification goes against the earlier order by Supreme Court wherein sale of liquor was banned within 500 meters of state and national highways across the nation, effective April 1 this year.
However, the Supreme Court said that the de-notification per se does not allow sale of liquor within 500 meters of highways. “The notification said that road will be de-notified within the limit of city and it does not say that the liquor vends will be regularized,” the court said. The Supreme Court also pointed that only certain highways and not all highways were de-notified. The court said that if the purpose was to allow liquor sale, then the Chandigarh administration would have de-notified all highways. “15 vends are located on roads which are not de-notified, they have made classifications,” the apex court said.