Last December, the Supreme Court directed the Maharashtra state government to shut all liquor shops as well as cease and desist issuing liquor permits to hotels, restaurants and bars within 500 metres of national and state highways in Maharashtra. This was to attempt to reduce the large amount of road accidents in the state.
However, now in a reversal the Maharashtra government has decided not to shut down bars and restaurants and continue issuing licenses to them.
Changing Its Stand
This comes after the Kerala government sought attorney general of India Mukul Rohatgi’s opinion about whether the order applied no bars and restaurants as well as liquor shops. It The Maharashtra government also found that an immense number – around 13,650 – would not be allowed to serve liquor if the order went through.
“Of the total number of establishments along the highways, 9,097-odd restaurants and bars would have had to completely shut down owing to the Apex Court’s order. Based on the AG’s opinion, the state has decided to allow them to operate even after April 1,” the excise minister said.