After 5 months, bars along highway in Chandigarh to reopen today
More than 100 establishments back in business, decision on 22 affected liquor vends laterUpdated: Aug 30, 2017 11:24 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Finally, after five months, hotels and bars on Madhya Marg and Himalayan Marg will be able to serve liquor again from Wednesday.
The ban on sale of liquor within 500 metres of highways, which was imposed on April 1 on the apex court’s order, has been relaxed within municipal limits after the court issued a clarification. The ban had led to the closure of more than 100 bars in the city, located mostly in Sectors 26 and 35, including those at JW Marriot and Hotel Taj. An estimated 2,000 people had lost their jobs.
The UT excise and taxation department has started accepting applications for liquor licence from hoteliers. The department will start issuing permits after charging Rs 6 lakh fee from them.
Deputy commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi, who is also the UT excise and taxation commissioner, said the decision on opening 22 liquor vends affected by the ban will be taken later. Earlier, the UT had issued 99 licences to vends, which were later reduced to 77 in the 2017-18 excise policy.
The Supreme Court had clarified on July 11 that its December 2016 judgment was aimed at curbing sale of liquor in proximity of highways that connect cities, towns and villages. “The order does not prohibit (sale of liquor) by licensed establishments within municipal areas,” the SC later said in the detailed judgment.
Following the clarification, the UT administrator sought the opinion of legal remembrancer, who on Tuesday gave the clearance.
First Published: Aug 30, 2017 11:24 IST