Days after Punjab government altered the law to let restaurants placed within 500 metres of National Highways to serve liquor within their premises, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday that there was nothing wrong with denotifying highways if such roads fall within a city.
The court was hearing a petition filed by NGO ‘Arrive Safe Society’ filed by its president Harman Singh Sidhu. “There are no such issues when the roads are within the city. Denotifying such roads as highways may have intelligible differentia,” said the court.
The court also cleared that the aim of its ban was to restrict people driving high speeding vehicles under the influence of alcohol on highways.
The remark brought a sigh of relief for pubs along the highway. The hearing in the case has been delayed by a week on June 23.
The Punjab Assembly had passed a Bill to allow hotels, restaurants and other notified places near highways in the state to serve alcohol. However, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a notice to the Punjab government post the decision.