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Pass liquor ban order on case-by-case basis: Maha told

Pass liquor   ban order on   case-by-case basis: Maha told
Observing that the Maharashtra government cannot pass a blanket order for shutting all liquor shops within 500 metres of state and national highways, the Bombay High Court on Monday directed the state to hear and pass reasoned orders in each case individually.

A division bench of Justices S M Kemkar and M S Sonak was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by liquor shops, permit rooms and bars challenging notices issued to them by the state Excise department prohibiting them from selling liquor.

The notices were issued in compliance with an order passed by the Supreme Court last year directing all liquor shops falling within 500 metres of the national and state highways to be shut.

The petitioners' argument was their shops are not within 500 metres of state highways and that the government had included even arterial roads as highways.

"We are of the view that the orders have been passed by the state Excise department without properly ascertaining in each case if the shops fall within 500 metres of state highways," Justice Kemkar said.
"We direct the secretary, state Public Works Department (roads) along with the commissioner of the state Excise department to hear the grievances of each petitioner. Each case shall be considered individually and a reasoned order shall be passed therein," the court said.

The PWD secretary has been directed to hear and decide all matters on or before July 5. MPOST
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