Chief Justice of India
The Supreme Court has directed that liquor stores cannot be operated within a distance of 500 metres of state and national highways throughout the country. The court has directed the government to remove the existing shops and remove all advertisements of such liquor shops. The ruling was pronounced by a bench comprising Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur. The ruling was pronounced in a plea where Tamil Nadu challenged the constitutional validity of a circular issued by the union ministry of road transport and highways on 22 April, directing all the state governments to shut liquor shops located along highways. The move was taken after an alarming increase in a number of drink-driving cases on highways. The central government has been issuing communiqué to the states regarding this issue since 2007. The government of Tamil Nadu contested the circular by saying that such circulars can only be applied to the national highways and not to the state highways. This argument was dismissed by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has allowed the shops located along highways to operate until March 31, 2017, subsequent to which their licenses will not be renewed.