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No more safe Highways...Set back to Haryana's state Excise policy

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the implementation of the Punjab and Haryana high court judgment restraining the two states from running liquor vends along the state highways. The order came on an appeal by the Haryana government.
With the stay order in favour of Haryana, the operation of such vends will continue until the top court decides the appeal. 
On March 18, 2014, the HC had amended Haryana's state excise policy, directing no liquor vend shall be located along state highways and shall not be accessible or visible from the roads as well as the service lane running along them.

The provision was added to the amended excise policy approved by the council of ministers of Haryana government, ensuring no liquor vends operated at places from where they were visible and had direct access from the National Highways.

The order came on a PIL against location of liquor vends adjacent to National Highways. It was in violation of the provisions of the Control of National Highways Act.

According to Haryana, the HC had in an interim order of July 30, 2013, directed removal of vends along the National Highways. Pursuant to this, the state amended its policy, incorporating the court direction.

Challenging the HC order, Haryana said the petitioner had never sought for the relief. Subsequent to HC's interim order, the state had even initiated the process of inviting fresh applications for allotment of vends for 2014-15. Hence, the judgment, it complained, would have serious financial implications and multifarious litigation.


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