Supreme Court Judgement dated 15.12.2016 on Liquor Ban on Highway

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Dear Member,

Greetings from SIHRA!!!

FHRAI has taken the following steps in this matter in order to safeguard the interest of our member – Hotels & Restaurants who are affected i.e., who fall within 500 mtrs of National/ State Highways.

  • Members are informed that the issue of liquor ban on Highways pertains to the implementation of the Model Policy of the Union Government under the Motor Vehicle Act thereby seeking removal of “Retail Liquor Vends” on National Highways to address the issue of accidents due to drunken driving. The Courts at the initial stage & finally the Supreme Court have given directions for implementing the Model Policy which at no time sought removal of Hotels or Restaurants on Highways.
  • After detailed study & research our lawyers have to opined that the judgement does not apply to Hotels & Restaurants and in fact applies to retail liquor shops/vends. Accordingly, opinions on this issue was sought from Retd. Justice A P Shah (Chief Justice Delhi High Court & Chairman Law Commission) and Retd. Justice B N Srikrishna (Former Judge Supreme Court) and both have given their written opinions stating that the Supreme Court Judgement does not apply to Hotels & Restaurants.
  • It was decided that the opinions along with the model draft reply be circulated to our members through the regions for the benefit of our members. Hotels/Restaurants which have received notices erroneously from the excise department could respond to these notices based upon the opinions and the model reply.
  • Further, FHRAI has also made representation along with the opinions supporting our case to Hon’ble Chief Ministers of the State, respective Chief Secretaries; requesting them to not implement the Supreme Court judgement against Hotels & Restaurants as was being interpreted by some excise officials.
  • Senior Advocate after hearing our representations and upon reading the Judgment, advised FHRAI to inform their member hotels & restaurants who have received notices to file Writ Petition for clarification in the respective High Courts of their States and recommended that FHRAI should be a party to the same.
  • It was decided by the FHRAI Board that we shall be immediately moving an application seeking for clarification before the Supreme Court.

Members seeking any further information in the matter are requested to write to the Secretary General at sg@fhrai.com OR fhrai@vsnl.com

Thanking you & Regards,

Amitabh Devendra
Secretary General