The Supreme Court’s highway liquor ban has been relaxed for Arunachal Pradesh and the Andaman and Nicobar islands, ANI reported on Wednesday.
From prohibiting the sale of alcohol within within 500 metres of state and national highways, the top court on Wednesday ruled that liquor shops in the state and Union Territory can sell alcohol if the establishments are 220 metres or further away from the stretches.
The bench led by Chief Justice JS Khehar observed that the sale of alcohol accounted for nearly 50% of Arunachal Pradesh’s revenue, and that 916 shops of 1,011 were affected by the 500-metre restriction, PTI reported.
On December 15, 2016, the apex court had imposed the ban after hearing a plea that claimed that nearly 1.42 lakh people died in road accidents every year, and that drunken driving was a major cause of this.
“Drunk driving is a potent cause of fatalities and injuries in road accidents,” the bench had said. “The Constitution preserves and protects the right to life as an over-arching Constitutional value.”
The top court had only exempted the states of Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Sikkim and places with populations less than 20,000 from the restriction.