Uncertainty hovers over Supreme Court liquor ban

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Uncertainty hovers over Supreme Court liquor ban

Though there is a mention of liquor vendors in the SC order, there is no mention of pubs, bars, restaurants, and hotels.

Uncertainty hovers over Supreme Court liquor ban

The Supreme Court ban on sale of liquor withing 500 meters from state and national highway has created a massive commotion in the hospitality industry. Though there is a mention of liquor vendors in the order, there is no mention of pubs, bars, restaurants, and hotels. This has created some confusion and the owners are expecting relief.

Talking to City Spidey, Ashwini Chaudhary, owner Soi 7, one of the popular lounges in CyberHub, said, “If you read the order in detail, nowhere does it mention lounges, bars, pubs, and hotels. We have spoken to our association NRAI [National Restaurant Association of India], who are looking into the matter. They will speak to the ministry for further clarification on this. Till then, we can only wait and hope for some relief.”

“In the main judgment of December 15, 2016, there is not a whisper about any prohibition on service of alcoholic beverages by hotels, restaurants, and bars located close to the National Highways and State Highways," said Rahul Singh, owner of Beer Café in Cyber Hub. "In the judgment that came on March 31, 2017, the Supreme Court substantially rejected the review petitions filed and some applications for clarification of the earlier judgment. In the review order of March 31, 2017, there is no specific mention of hotels, restaurants, and bars being prohibited from serving alcoholic beverages. There was no occasion to seek any clarification, as the Supreme Court never laid down a law prohibiting hotels, restaurants, and bars from selling liquor."

Manvi Chaudhary, another restaurateur and a women entrepreneur, had taken a loan to start her own business venture. “The place is almost shut, as we can't sell liquor. Surprisingly in the ruling, there is not a single word about restaurants or bars. We are hoping the government will come forward and help us,” said Chaudhary.

While the uncertainty carries on, the hoteliers, restaurateurs and pub owners are still not losing hope and expecting some relief in the matter that has practically given them sleepless nights.