This bar owner’s jugaad to dodge Supreme Court’s 500 m liquor ban
India's Supreme Court has banned alcohol shops to operate on the state as well as national highways.
A move which is aimed at reducing the number of road deaths caused due to drink and drive, Government of India passed a new law from 1st April 2017, which will bring an end of all alcohol shops which were previously being operated on the National as well as State Highway.
The order was passed by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice, Mr T S Thakur. The ban states that alcohol shops cannot operate within 500 meters from state or a national highway. This way, the alcohol shops will not be visible to people travelling on the highway.
India has one of the largest network of highways in the world. This has resulted in a large number of liquor shops to operated on the highways. For example, there are 62 liquor shops along a 1 km stretch on the national highway in Mahe district, Puducherry.
Last year, 1.4 lakh people lost their lives due to road accidents – a considerable number of them died because the driver of the vehicle was drunk. This new move will surely help in reducing the number of deaths registered due to drunk driving cases.
Basically, the rule has been implemented to stop bars from operating near the highways. But, as is the case with most of us, some ingenious always manage to get their way one way or the other. Here is the case of Aishwarya Restobar in Paravoor, Ernakulam.
Sitting well within the 500 meter range from highway, the bar legally should have been banned from selling alcohol from 1st April 2017. But, the owner of this bar decided to build a maze surrounding the bar, thus increasing the distance of the bar from the highway by more than 500 meters.
Situated on NH17, the bar owner spent INR 2 lakh to build this maze.
How do you think the government should deal with this situation? Should they ban the bar from selling alcohol, or let them sell because of this maze construction?
Please leave your suggestions in the comments section below.