Hotel associations from various parts of the country have filed review petitions seeking reconsideration of the Supreme Court’s ban on liquor sales near national and state highways.
The associations, which submitted their petitions on Monday, are seeking exemption for hotels and restaurants, which they said were the unintended victims of a December 15 judgment that was thought to be applicable only for liquor vends.
“This is a blanket order and the topography of all the states is different. Some highways are cutting through towns and cities and are not highways anymore and have not been denotified yet,” said Dilip Datwani, president of the Hotel & Restaurant Association of Western India.
“We are asking for a complete review of the order and for hotels to be looked at separately.” Parekh & Co is the law firm assisting some hotel associations. “In our petition, we are saying that Himachal and Uttarakhand in north India, which have similar terrain issues like Sikkim and Meghalaya, should be exempted from the ban,” said Garish Oberoi, treasurer of the Hotel & Restaurant Association of Northern India.
“We are also referring to restaurants and saying that restaurants with all compliances in place and which primarily serve food and are not bars should be exempted. Resident guests in hotels are not driving after drinking and should be able to access bars in hotels.” “Various state and national highways are not thoroughfares anymore but urban roads between cities and towns,” said R Srinivasan, executive committee member of the South India Hotels & Restaurants Association, which was among those that filed a review petition.
“While we respect the judgement, which is aimed at ending drunk driving, we feel hotels and restaurants have been the unintended victims of this ban and should be exempted.”