Liquor ban: Not even Google can find Maharashtra’s notification classifying state highways
Mumbai city news: Bombay high court had asked the Maharashtra government for its notification designating state highways in a case against the liquor banmumbai Updated: Jun 09, 2017 13:55 IST
Even two months after the Supreme Court’s order prohibiting the sale of liquor along national and state highways, the Maharashtra government is yet to “find” its notification classifying state highways.
The state’s counsel told the Bombay high court on Friday that its officers had even tried searching for the notification on ‘Google’ but had failed to get “any relevant results”.
The state was responding to a previous direction of the high court, asking it to produce its notification declaring or classifying roads as state highways.
Last week, a bench of Justices Shantanu Kemkar and MS Sonak, while hearing a bunch of pleas filed by liquor vendors, restaurant owners etc., terming the state’s implementation of the ban “arbitrary,” had asked for the notification to confirm whether or not the ban had been implemented in consonance with the SC order.
The petitioners had argued that besides banning sale of liquor along highways, the state had also asked establishments located within 500 metres of ‘state roads,’ or ‘mainways’ to shut shop.
These ‘mainways,’ the petitioners said, are merely important roads in the state. There are about 250-300 such roads termed mainways in the state’s road development plan and can’t be equated with state highways, they argued.
However, in the absence of clarity over such notification by the state, more than one lakh liquor stores, bars, restaurants etc. across Maharashtra have been sked to stop serving or selling liquor.
The bench has now directed the Advocate General to appear on June 12, the next date of hearing, and to bring along the notification. It said that if the state failed to produce the notification by the next date, it will be forced to pass adverse orders.