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Punjab bypasses Supreme Court order to allow liquor near highways

Newspatrolling: In a significant development, the Punjab government has introduced changes to the Punjab Excise Act, which would now enable clubs, restaurants and hotels to serve liquor within 500 meters of highways. It may be recalled that the Supreme Court (SC) had banned the sale of liquor within 500 meters of highways. The decision had caused serious problems for many hotels and restaurants along the highways, which were hugely dependent on liquor sales for their business. Some innovative people had even created a maze around their hotel in order to comply with Supreme Court’s restriction of 500 meters. However, such things won’t be necessary in Punjab now, as the amendment bill, 2017 has been approved by the state assembly.

The official statement issued by the Punjab Government read, “By amending Section 26-A of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, all ambiguities for serving of liquor at hotel, restaurants and clubs would be removed by adding provisions whereby it is cleared that no retail vend would be opened within 500 meter of the national and state highways, however, these restrictions shall not apply to the hotels, restaurants and clubs situated on the national and state highways.”

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