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Mukul Rohatgi
Mukul Rohatgi

Highway ban on Liquor Stores does not apply to Bars, Restaurants: Attorney General to Kerala

Bar & Bench

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi has given a legal opinion to the Kerala government that the Supreme Court judgment, which bans liquor shops within 500 meters of National and State highways, will not apply to Bars and Restaurants that serve liquor.

As reported by Times of India, the Kerala government had sought Rohatgi’s opinion since the deadline of March 31 to cancel all the licenses is fast approaching.

The AG’s opinion is likely to have huge ramifications across the country.

The Supreme Court, in its judgment dated December 15, 2016 had directed that no new liquor shop licenses shall be granted for shops that exist along national as well as state highways across the country.

The apex court had also made it clear that such shops whose licences have already been renewed, shall be allowed to ply no later than April 1, 2017, while existing licenses would also expire by April 1.

State governments had already taken steps pursuant to the judgment. However, the judgment had resulted in a lot of confusion since there was no clarity on whether the judgment would apply to Bars and Beer and wine parlours.