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HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, September 13, 2013
The Punjab and Haryana high court has made it clear that even if state governments had issued licences to liquor vends along highways, if they do not comply with rules of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), they should be immediately removed.
The division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih also directed the NHAI to constitute a committee, also involving representatives of Punjab and Haryana governments, which would take an appropriate decision on the removal of such vends.
The court has also made it clear that if the decision is taken to remove such licensed vends, their owners were free to claim the licence fee paid to the government.

The directions came while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Arrive Safe Society, a Chandigarh-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), which submitted that liquor vends beside highways were a major cause of accidents.taxation policy for the installation of liquor vends along highways, as per directions issued by the union ministry of road, transport and highways vide a letter dated December 1, 2011, to all states and union territories.

The case would now come up for hearing on November 18.

The petitioner had sought directions to the Punjab and Haryana governments not to issue licences under the excise and