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Highway Liquor Ban to Control Drink Driving

ArriveSAFE’s Legal Expedition

In 2016, on his petition the Supreme Court of India passed an order to ban sale of liquor along highways in India. The petition was based on repeated advisories sent by Union Government to the States. Reasons for submission:

1. The advisories were based on studies that easy availability prompts impulsive buying and drinking; still no state complied.

2.Though wheelchair bound, he faced the strong, well-funded opposition, even got threats to his life but fought to reduce drunken driving.

Highway liquor ban case in Punjab & Haryana High Court

1 Issue Public Interest Litigation seeking removal of liquor vends from National and State Highways
Case Number • CWP 25777 of 2012 at Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh.
Decision • Liquor vends neither to be visible or accessible from national/ state highways and service lanes abutting thereto.
• All advertisements linked to liquor, to be removed forthwith.
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2 Issue State of Punjab moves Supreme Court of India saying liquor vends should exist on State Highways.
Case Number SLP 8267 of 2014
Decision Order passed by Punjab and Haryana High Courtwas challenged by State of Punjab challenges the Order in Supreme Court of India saying liquor vends should exist on State Highways.

Initially stay obtained by State qua state highways, meaning thereby liquor vends would continue on state highways but not on national highways.

– The Supreme Court of India finally passed the historic order banning sale of liquor within 500 metres of the national highways and state highways.

– No liquor shop should be visible from national highways and state highways.

– All signages and advertisements of the availability of liquor banned on national and state highways.

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3 Issue State of Haryana also moves Supreme Court of India saying liquor vends should exist on State Highways.
Case Number SLP 8971 of 2014
Decision State of Haryanafollowed Punjab and challenged the Order in Supreme Court of India saying liquor vends should exist on State Highways.

Initially stay obtained by State qua state highways, meaning thereby liquor vends would continue on state highways but not on national highways.

– The Supreme Court of India passed the historic order banning sale of liquor within 500 metres of the national highways and state highways.

– No liquor shop should be visible from national highways and state highways.

– All signages and advertisements of the availability of liquor banned on national and state highways.

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4 Issue File a Public Interest Litigation in Rajasthan High Court seeking removal of liquor vends from Highways
Case Number CP (PIL) 2047 of 2014
Decision Rajasthan High Court at Jaipur regarding removal of liquor vends from National and State Highways

The bench headed by Action Chief Justice of Rajasthan ordered that no liquor shop should be situated within 150 meters of the highways.

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5 Issue File Contempt of Court against states of Punjab and Haryana for non compliance of the High Court Orders.
Case Number COCP 2194 of 2014
Decision Contempt of court orders.
Case was filed by ArriveSAFE against states of Punjab and Haryana for disregard of orders passed in CWP 25777 of 2012 by by Punjab and Haryana High Court.Disposed of as infructuous on 11-8-2016 (after two years without holding any respondent guilty of contempt even though plenty of documents placed on record.)
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6 Issue Challenge Excise policy of State of Punjab for 2015-16
Case Number CWP 5827 of 2015
Decision Excise policy of State of Punjab for 2015-16 had to be challenged on grounds of location of liquor shops and seeking billing system at liquor shops.

Liquor is probably the only product for which no bill/invoice is given to the client.

“It was suggested on behalf of the respondent – State of Punjab that the liquor vends are permissible on National/State Highways, even if they are directly accessible from such Highways, if there is nothing to suggest that the same are liquor vends. Prima-facie this contention is not well founded. Even if we were to accept the clause, as suggested by the State of Punjab, it does not contain any such qualification. In other words, if a liquor vend is visible from a National/State Highway and there is direct access to it from the National/State Highway, it would fall foul of the clause. What is important is that the structure should be visible. It matters not if it is not described by advertisement or otherwise to be a liquor vend. Nor does it make a difference even if such a liquor vend visually does not appear to be a liquor vend.” Order dated 30-4-2015, passed by bench headed by Acting Chief Justice, and what the Supreme Court means by 500m in its judgment dated 15-12-2016.

Finally Disposed of as infructous after 23 effective hearings on 5-4-2016 even though registrar (vigilance) of High Court submitted three reports stating existence of liquor vends on National Highway!

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7 Issue Challenge Excise policy of State of Haryana for 2015-16
Case Number CWP 5249 of 2015
Decision Excise policy of State of Haryana for 2015-16 had to be challenged on grounds of location of liquor shops and seeking billing system at liquor shops.

Liquor is probably the only product for which no bill/invoice is given to the client.

Disposed of on 1-4-2015 with direction to raise all complaints before Commissioner (Excise).

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8 Issue Review filed because Haryana judgment did not deal with billing on vends issue
Case Number Review Application RA-CW 168 of 2015
Decision Disposed off observing billing is a policy decision which must be decided by the State.

“On the one hand,, the requirement to issue bills may well curb spurious liquor being sold. On the other hand, there could be financial implications including on the State. The vendors would then be required to employ persons for the purpose of issuing the bills in respect of each sale. The financial implications on the vendors would in turn impact the State for obviously in the event that the bids would also be reduced. Further, the requirement of issuing the bills for each sale may slow down the sales at rush hours.”

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9 Issue Filed by ArriveSAFE, challenging judgment regarding billing for sale of liquor.
Case Number SLP 18587-88 of 2015
Decision We challenged the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the Supreme Court.
No bill is issued on sale of liquor at liquor vends/shops leading to sale of spurious alcohol. MRP is Minimum Retail Price only for alcoholic beverages, for all other products MRP is Maximum Retail Price.Not dealt with by Supreme Court in judgment dated 15-12-2016.
10 Issue ChallengedExcise policy of State of Haryana for 2016-17
Case Number CWP 4689 of 2016
Decision Excise Policy for State of Haryana for 2016-17 challenged on grounds of location of vends, sub-vends, billing on vends, increase in basic quota of liquor, ban on ads.
Made to withdraw and file it as PIL on 11-3-2016.
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11 Issue Filed a PIL challengingExcise policy of State of Haryana for 2016-17
Case Number CWP 4957 of 2016
Decision Challenged Excise Policy 2016-17 (as PIL) on grounds of location of vends, sub-vends, billing on vends, increase in basic quota of liquor, ban on advertisements.
Pending
12 Issue Challenged Excise policy of State of Punjab for 2016-17
Case Number CWP 5646 of 2016
Decision Challenged Excise policy of Punjab for 2016-17 on the grounds of Location, increase in basic quota of liquor, billing, labeling, ban on advertisement.
Pending
13 Issue Challenged the amendment made in Punjab Excise Act of 1914, re-defining National Highway.
Case Number CWP 5872 of 2016
Decision The Supreme Court of India struck down the amendment to the Punjab Excise Act of 1914. The State had amended the Excise Policy to facilitate sale of liquor along highways.
14 Issue Transfer petition
Case Number Transfer petition 739-741 of 2016
Decision Sought transfer of three petitions to Supreme Court since similar matters were pending there.
Disposed of on 15-12-2016.
15 Issue Challenged the de-notification of State Highways by Chandigarh.
Case Number CWP 5594 of 2017
Decision Chandigarh Administration de-notified state highways and downgraded them to district roads to circumvent the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court upheld the de-notification order as there is no law/rule regarding classification of roads.
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16 Issue Challenged the second amendment in Punjab Excise Act of 1914 in 2017.
Case Number CWP-14027-2017
Decision The State of Punjab again acted smart and again amended the same para of Punjab Excise Act of 1914. This time the State has tried to differentiate between ‘sale’ and ‘service’ of liquor. As per this amendment, the ‘service’ of liquor is allowed on highways.
Pending

Highway liquor ban case in the Supreme Court of India

1 Issue The Supreme Court of India orders ban sale of liquor on all highways across India.
Case Number CIVIL APPEAL Nos .12164-12166 OF 2016
[Arising out of SLP (C) Nos.14911-14913 of 2013]
Decision (i) All states and union territories shall forthwith cease and desist from granting licences for the sale of liquor along national and state highways;

(ii) (ii) The prohibition contained in (i) above shall extend to and include stretches of such highways which fall within the limits of a municipal corporation, city, town or local authority;

(iii) (iii) The existing licences which have already been renewed prior to the date of this order shall continue until the term of the licence expires but no later than 1 April 2017;

(iv) (iv) All signages and advertisements of the availability of liquor shall be prohibited and existing ones removed forthwith both on national and state highways;

(v) (v) No shop for the sale of liquor shall be
1. visible from a national or state highway;
2. directly accessible from a national or state highway and
3. situated within a distance of 500 metres of the outer 24 edge of the national or state highway or of a service lane along the highway.

(vi) All States and Union territories are mandated to strictly enforce the above directions. The Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police shall within one month chalk out a plan for enforcement in consultation with the state revenue and home departments. Responsibility shall be assigned inter alia to District Collectors and Superintendents of Police and other competent authorities. Compliance shall be strictly monitored by calling for fortnightly reports on action taken.

(vii) These directions issue under Article 142 of the Constitution.

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2 Issue 68 applications for review were filed in the order passed by the Supreme Court.
Case Number Supreme Court – Revised order of liquor ban on highways
Decision The order dated 15-12-2016 was upheld in the order dated 30-03-2017 with one modification; distance reduced to 220 meters in case of “local bodies” with population less than 20,000.
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3 Issue Challenged the order in the Supreme Court of India
Case Number SLP (C ) 10243 of 2017
Decision Order awaited

Public Interest Litigation in the Rajasthan High Court at Jaipur seeking ban on sale of Poppy Heads (Opioid) in the State of Rajasthan

1 Issue PIL seeking ban on sale of poppy heads/husk (opioid)
Case Number CWP (PIL) 4201 of 2015
Decision There was rampant abuse of poppy husk (opioid) by commercial drivers. Driving under Influence is also a major cause of road crashes.

The bench headed by the Chief Justice of High Court of Rajasthan ordered ban on cultivation and sale of poppy.

Poppy husk is being supplied illegally by drug traffickers in Rajasthan but also in Punjab and Haryana and a large number of youth is being addicted to the use of this opioid derivative and other drugs resulting in a major social problem.

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2 Issue Contempt of court orders Case was filed against state of Rajasthan.
Case Number Civil Contempt Petition No. 805 of 2015
Decision Contempt of court orders Case was filed by ArriveSAFE against state of Rajasthan for disregard and non-compliance oforders passed in CWP (PIL)4201 of 2015 by High Court of Rajasthan.

The State of Rajasthan and some poppy husk traders filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India seeking quashing of the order passed by Rajasthan High Court.

The case was dismissed as the State moved the Supreme Court.

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3 Issue The State of Rajasthan moved Supreme Court against the order of Rajasthan High Court banning sale of poppy husk.
Case Number SLP(C) No. 024986 – 024987 / 2015
Decision The State of Rajasthan and some poppy husk traders filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India seeking quashing of the order passed by Rajasthan High Court.
Pending

How to file complaint for violation of the Court Orders