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The matter related to the ban imposed by the Supreme Court on the sale of alcoholic beverages on national and state highways again came up in the top court on Tuesday (May 9). Many states had earlier pleaded for modifications in the court’s order. The top court had asked them to file fresh applications.

The counsel for the Federation of Bar and Clubs pleaded on Tuesday that the sale of liquor in clubs in Tamil Nadu was only 4 percent. He told the court that alcohol shops had shifted their entrances but hotels couldn’t.

The bench dealing with the case suggested that entrances could be shifted to ensure that they were more than 500 metres from highways.

The counsel argued that the guidelines set by the court were too stringent and crippling as alcohol could not be served even in the licensed hotel rooms.

The Counsel appearing for the clubs of Madurai pleaded that there were only two revenue generation sources in the clubs—the banquet and the bar. He said that if the bar was closed then the club will have to be shut down. He sought direction from the court that alcohol could be consumed only in the designated premises and the clubs could take care of the people who drink.

The Counsel for hotels in Chennai said that he would ensure that the directions were followed and assured the court that hotels will make sure that the person who drinks was not allowed to drive afterwards.

Arunachal Pradesh objected to only Sikkim and Meghalaya being granted exemption by the court. Its counsel said that the state did not have any highways and there were only national highways. It apprised the court that Arunachal had 1,020 places to drink out of which 960 had been closed due to the court’s order.

Matter will again be taken up in the second week of July.

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