Liquor to flow at marriage palaces along Punjab highways
The Punjab government is set to remove restrictions on serving of liquor at marriage palaces located along the highways in the state.
A decision is expected soon following Punjab advocate general Atul Nanda’s legal opinion that marriage palaces are not covered by the Supreme Court’s judgment banning liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state highways in the state.
The excise and taxation department had sought the legal opinion from the state’s advocate general on whether marriage palaces are covered by the Supreme Court order.
When asked, additional excise and taxation commissioner Gurtej Singh confirmed that the department has received the AG’s opinion that marriage palaces are not within the scope of the SC judgment.
“We have received the legal opinion. The department will now decide the future course of action and orders will be issued accordingly,” he said.
The advocate general, in his legal opinion, is learnt to have said that unlike vends and restaurants, liquor is not sold in marriage palaces and their licensing pattern is also different. Nanda examined the court order and a few other policies of the Centre on the issue in his detailed opinion, according to sources.
The SC order had left marriage palaces in Punjab, famous for its big, fat weddings, high and dry. Bookings had dried up at many of these venues with some seeing 70% dip in business. The excise and taxation department had put the number of marriage palaces affected by the ban on liquor sale along the national and state highways at roughly 1,000.