Jaipur: Rajasthan Public Works Department, (PWD) is mulling de-notification of state highways to urban highways to shield from the Supreme Court's direction to ban sale of liquor at national and state highways.
The apex court in its December 15, 2016 order had ruled that licenses of existing shops along national and state highways will not be renewed after March 31.
However, the ruling was challenged by several associations across states seeking modification of the judgment.
On 23 March, the Tamil Nadu government had also moved the top court to extend the time for relocation of retail liquor shops along the highways till the expiry of their license period up to 28 November, 2017.
However, the apex court on Friday granted partial relief to state liquor associations regarding banning of liquor stores on state and national highways.
Hearing a batch of petitions seeking modification of its December 2016 order banning liquor outlets within 500 metres of state and national highways across the country, the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Khehar said that in those areas where population was less than 20,000, the distance would be around 220 meters.
Several states, including Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab, Telangana and Haryana and various others had told the apex court that 500-metre distance is much higher and should be reduced.
Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi, also agreed with the associations and said that the 500-metre distance should be reduced. The apex court, however, observed that life is more important than liquor.