The Punjab and Haryana high court sought a reply from the Punjab government on alleged violations of high court orders on opening of liquor vends along national highways in the state.
During the resumed hearing on the petition challenging the government's excise policy 2015-16, non-government organisation (NGO) ArriveSafe Society submitted pictures of some liquor vends allegedly operating on national highways in the state.
The HC observed that pendency of this petition would not prevent the respondent from taking any action against the violators and sought a reply on the submissions of the petitioner NGO by April 22. The NGO had challenged the excise policy notified by the Punjab government for 2015-16.
The petitioner stated that the high court had directed Punjab to remove liquor vends from highways and service lanes abutting these highways and also remove all advertisements regarding the sale of liquor from highways, besides ensuring that liquor vends were neither visible nor accessible from the highways. The state had interpreted the high court order 'wrongly'. The policy talked of non-visibility and no direct access from the national highways, but it did not mention anything about service lanes of national highways, the petitioner has argued.