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Monday, April 3, 2017

presence of liquor vends on national and state highways across the country. Official figures of road accidents, with their attendant fatalities and injuries provided the backdrop for the intervention of this Court. This Court adverted to the consistent policy of the Union Government to curb drunken driving and, as an incident of the policy, to remove liquor vends on national highways. The judgment of this Court concludes that there is no justification to allow liquor vends on state highways (while prohibiting them on national highways) having due regard to drunken driving being one of the significant causes of road accidents in India.Hence, by the judgment of this Court, the following directions have been issued for stopping the grant of licences for the sale of liquor along national and state highways and over a distance of 500 metres from the outer edge of the highway or a service lane alongside. 1 April 2017 is fixed as the date for phasing out existing licences. The directions are set out below: All states and union territories shall forthwith cease and desist from granting licences for the sale of liquor along national and state highways; 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; 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; All signages and advertisements of the availability of liquor shall be prohibited and existing ones removed forthwith both on national and state highways; No shop for the sale of liquor shall be (i) visible from a national or state highway; (ii) directly accessible from a national or state highway and (iii) situated within a distance of 500 metres of the outer edge of the national or state highway or of a service lane along the highway. 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. These directions issue under Article 142 of the Constitution. “



                                    IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 I A Nos  4-6,  7-9, 10-12, 13-15, 16-18, 19-21, 22-24, 25-27, 28-30,    31-
                           33, 34-36, 37-39, 40-42
                                     IN
                   CIVIL APPEAL NOS 12164-12166   OF 2016



THE STATE OF TAMIL NADU REP.BY SEC.
AND ORS                                                  ..Appellants



                                   VERSUS

K. BALU AND ANR.                                        ..Respondents



WITH I A NOS 5, 6 AND 7 IN C A NO  12169 OF 2016

WITH CIVIL APPEAL NO 12170 OF 2016

AND OTHER UNREGISTERED I.A.s ON BOARD



                                  O R D E R



Dr D Y CHANDRACHUD, J

On 15 December, 2016, this Court delivered judgment  in  a  batch  of  Civil
Appeals originating  from the State of Tamil Nadu and the States  of  Punjab
and Haryana. The decision of this Court is reported as ‘State of Tamil  Nadu
represented by its Secretary, Home, Prohibition and  Excise  Department  Vs.
K.Balu[1] .  The issue which the Court addressed was the presence of  liquor
vends on national and state highways across the  country.  Official  figures
of road accidents, with their attendant  fatalities  and  injuries  provided
the backdrop for the intervention of this Court.   This  Court  adverted  to
the consistent policy of the Union Government to curb drunken  driving  and,
as an incident of  the policy, to remove liquor vends on national  highways.
The judgment of this Court concludes  that  there  is  no  justification  to
allow liquor vends on state highways (while  prohibiting  them  on  national
highways) having due regard to drunken driving being one of the  significant
causes of road accidents in India.Hence, by the judgment of this Court,  the
following directions have been issued  for stopping the  grant  of  licences
for the sale of  liquor  along  national  and  state  highways  and  over  a
distance of 500 metres from the outer edge of the highway or a service  lane
alongside. 1 April 2017 is fixed  as  the  date  for  phasing  out  existing
licences.  The directions are set out below:



All states and union territories  shall  forthwith  cease  and  desist  from
granting licences for the sale of liquor along national and state highways;

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;

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;

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

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

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.

These directions issue under Article 142 of the Constitution. “



This clutch of applications, nearly 68 of them, have  been  filed  basically
for   (i) extension of time for  compliance,  in  certain  cases;   or  (ii)
modification or, as the case may be,  recalling the  judgment  delivered  by
this Court.



We may at  the  outset  indicate  that  having  regard  to  the  nature  and
importance of the issue which finds reflection in the judgment delivered  by
this Court and the significant element of public  interest that is  involved
in dealing with  road  accidents  caused  due  to  drunken  driving  on  the
highways of the nation, we have heard arguments extensively  on  29  and  30
March, 2017 so that the matter can be addressed before  the  deadline  of  1
April 2017.  Some States and  private parties who were not before the  Court
in the course of the original proceedings urged that  their  submissions  in
regard to the directions issued by this Court should be taken into  account.
Hence,  we were of the view that in the interest of  fairness  it  would  be
appropriate to enable a dispassionate consideration  of  their  perspectives
in order to determine whether any modification is required and  if  so,  the
nature of the modification that may be warranted in the  final  judgment  of
this Court.  We have, therefore, not been trammelled by the technicality  of
whether these  ‘Interlocutory  Applications’  would  be  maintainable  in  a
proceeding which has been disposed of. Having regard to  the  importance  of
the issues which have been addressed in the judgment and order, we  were  of
the considered  view  that  this  Court  should  have  the  benefit  of  the
assistance rendered by States who have moved this Court and of parties  with
diverse perspectives so as to facilitate an outcome which is both  just  and
is arrived at after a  fair   hearing.  We  have  accordingly  proceeded  to
follow that line of action and have been  assisted  over  the  previous  two
dates of hearing by learned counsel who have brought to bear on  their  task
a considerable degree of industry on the subject.



For convenience of reference, we may indicate  that  eight  States  (besides
the Union Territory of Pondicherry) have moved this  Court  in  the  present
proceedings.  The States which are before the Court are :



Andhra Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh

Karnataka

Kerala

Sikkim

Telangana

Meghalaya

Tamil Nadu



We may indicate that the following States have not filed any applications :



Arunachal Pradesh

Assam

Bihar

Chhattisgarh

Goa

Gujarat

Haryana

Madhya Pradesh

  Maharashtra

  Manipur

  Mizoram

  Nagaland

 Odisha

 Punjab

 Rajasthan

 Tripura

 Uttar Pradesh

  West Bengal



During the course of the proceedings, an affidavit has  been  filed  by  the
Chief Secretary of  the  Government  of  Madhya  Pradesh  stating  that  the
judgment rendered by this Court has been accepted by the  State  Government,
following a resolution by the Council of Ministers on 16 January  2017.  The
Chief Secretary informs the Court that :



“In compliance of the order of 15  December,  2016  passed  by  the  Hon’ble
Supreme Court of India, New Delhi, in Civil Appeal No.12164-12166/2016,  the
Council of Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, in its meeting at 16th  January  has
ensured to comply in the Excise Policy Year 2017-18 that there shall  be  no
Liquor Shop situated within a distance of 500 Metre from  the  service  lane
of the  National/State  Highways.   No  Liquor  Shop  shall  be  visible  or
accessible directly from the National/State Highways.  Any signage or  Board
or advertisement depicting the availability of the liquor in any form  shall
be prohibited.



The Government of Madhya Pradesh, Commercial Tax Department, has issued
order of aforesaid intent regarding to the location of Liquor Shops at
National/State Highways in point No.4 of its order No.F.B.-01-
01/2017/2/Five, dated 17th January 2017. (Copy of the order is attached)



For general information of the said provisions to  the  Public  instructions
of aforesaid intent have been issued in respect to disposal of  retail  sale
shops of country/foreign liquor, Arrangements year 2017-18, which have  been
published in Madhya Pradesh Gazette (Extra Ordinary) No.27 dated 18  January
2017”.



On behalf of the Delhi Tourism Development Corporation it  has  been  stated
that out of the 547 vends for liquor, 14 are in  breach  of  the  500  metre
norm.  A Committee was constituted for the shifting of these  liquor  vends,
and the process has begun.  An extension of six months has been sought.



During the course of the hearing, learned counsel  appearing  on  behalf  of
the State of Andhra Pradesh informed the Court  that  the  State  Government
has accepted the judgment and is accordingly withdrawing  the  Interlocutory
Application filed by it.   I.A.D.No.  11840   is  accordingly  dismissed  as
withdrawn.



The State of Telangana has similarly  informed  the  Court  that  under  its
excise policy, the excise year is to  end  on  30  September.   The  limited
prayer before the Court is an extension of time  for  compliance  so  as  to
facilitate the expiry of the current licences at the end of the excise  year
on 30 September 2017.



Besides the States listed  earlier,  the  Court  has  also  been  seized  of
Interlocutory Applications instituted by individual licencees of liquor  or,
as the case may be,  of  associations  representing  the  interests  of  the
trade.



The principle line of submission addressed before this Court by the  learned
Attorney General for India (appearing on behalf of the State of Tamil  Nadu)
is  that  the  judgment  rendered  by  this  Court  has   transgressed   the
limitations on the constitutional  power  conferred  by  Article  142.   The
basis on which this submission has been  urged  is  that  the  excise  rules
which are framed  by  different  States  under  their  enabling  legislative
powers prescribe distances for the location of liquor shops  with  reference
to the highways.  For  instance,  it  has  been  stated  that  the  distance
prescribed in certain state  excise  rules  is  220  metres.   Similarly  an
exemption is available  for  municipal  and  local  areas  through  which  a
segment of a highway passes. It has been  urged  that  the  prescription  of
distance under the state excise rules is interfered with by  the  directions
issued by this Court which prohibit shops for the sale of  liquor  within  a
distance of 500 metres from the outer edge of  national  or  state  highways
or of a service  lane  along  the  highway.  The  learned  Attorney  General
submits that  topographic and geographical  conditions  of  each  State  are
distinct, which is why  excise rules across the  country  prescribe  varying
distances from the highways for location of  liquor  shops.   Hence  it  has
been urged that it is not appropriate for this Court to  prescribe  a  fixed
distance of 500  metres.  The  Attorney  General  urge  that  the  Committee
appointed by this Court (chaired by Justice S.Radhakrishnan, a former  Judge
of this Court) recommended a distance only of 100  metres.   The  error,  in
the submission of the Attorney  General,  lies  in  comparing  national  and
state highways.  Moreover, it is urged that even if the prohibition were  to
apply to both  national  and  state  highways,  an  exemption  ought  to  be
provided for the location of liquor shops in municipal areas  through  which
the state highways traverse.  Alternately,  it  was  urged  that  a  smaller
prohibition in terms of distance would be appropriate in relation to   state
highways. The Attorney General has confined  his  submission  to  the  state
highways only.



Dr. Rajeev Dhawan, learned  senior  counsel  has  urged  that  the  judgment
rendered by this Court is unconstitutional and is in the nature of  judicial
policy making.



The  Union  of  India  is  represented  in  these  proceedings  (as  in  the
proceedings which led to the  judgment  dated  15  December  2016)  by  Shri
Panda. Shri Panda has  unequivocally  asserted  that  the  Union  government
stands by the judgment rendered by this  Court  on  15  December  2016.  Shi
Panda has submitted that the judgment is supported by the consistent  policy
and advisories of the  Union  government  to  the  states  to  curb  drunken
driving and to prohibit the sale of liquor along national highways.



In dealing with these submissions, we must at the outset  notice  that  this
Court while exercising its jurisdiction has neither formulated  policy   nor
(as we shall indicate)  has it assumed a legislative function.   The   basis
and foundation of the judgment delivered on 15  December  2016  is  (i)  the
policy of the Union Government, formulated by the  Union  Ministry  of  Road
Transport and Highways (MoRTH); (ii)  the  decision  of  the  National  Road
Safety Council (NRSC), which is an apex body  for  road  safety  established
under Section 215 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988; (iii)  advisories  issued
by the Union Government to the states over a period of one decade; and  (iv)
the Parliamentary mandate of zero tolerance for driving under the  influence
of alcohol, evident in Section 185 of the Motor  Vehicles  Act,  1988.   The
judgment of  this  Court  extensively  reproduced  the  statistics  on  road
accidents from official data released by MoRTH  in  its  Transport  Research
Wing, the decisions of NRSC and the  advisories  issued  over  the  previous
decade by the Union Government. The judgment of this Court  has  inter  alia
adverted to the decision taken in a meeting held thirteen years ago by  NRSC
to the  effect that licences for liquor shops should not be given along  the
national highways. Besides this, the Court has also relied  upon  advisories
issued by MoRTH to the States and Union Territories on 26  October  2007,  1
December 2011, 18 March 2013 and 21 May 2014.   Section  185  of  the  Motor
Vehicles Act is indicative of a Parliamentary  intent  to  penalise  driving
under the influence of alcohol. The conclusions which  have  been  drawn  by
this Court in paragraph 9 of its judgment, which we extract below are  hence
based, on the considered policy of the Union Government :



“9.   The material which has been placed on record indicates that :

India has a high rate of road accidents and fatal road accidents  –  one  of
the advisories states that it is the highest in the world with  an  accident
occurring every four minutes;

There is a high incidence  of  road  accidents  due  to  driving  under  the
influence of alcohol;

The existence of liquor vends on national  highways  is  in  the  considered
view of the National Road Safety Council and Mo    RTH – expert  authorities
with domain knowledge – a cause for road accidents on national highways;

Advisories have been issued to the State Governments and  Union  Territories
to close down liquor vends on national highways and to ensure that no  fresh
licences are issued in the future…”



Having said this the Court observed  that  there  is  no  logical  basis  to
distinguish between  national and state  highways.  The  menace  of  drunken
driving and the resultant fatalities or injuries are not  confined  only  to
national highways.   Hence,  the  judgment  of  this  Court  is  neither  an
exercise of the court having formulated a policy or of having embarked  upon
a legislative exercise.



15.   The submission of the Attorney  General  (representing  the  State  of
Tamil Nadu) and of other learned senior counsel who adopted  the  same  line
of argument, which is based  on  the  state  excise  rules   is  lacking  in
substance.   The  state  excise  rules  contain  enabling  provisions.  They
provide for a discretion for the grant of  liquor  licences.  No  individual
has  a vested right to obtain a licence. There is no  fundamental  right  to
carry on business in liquor since as a matter  of  constitutional  doctrine,
Article 19(1)(g) does not extend to trade in liquor  which  is  consistently
regarded as res extra commercium.  Where  an  excise  rule  which  has  been
formulated  by  a  state  government  provides  for  the  maintenance  of  a
specified distance from an institution or amenity, what this  postulates  is
that no licence can be granted at all by the State  Government  within  that
distance.  The state has  a  discretion  on  whether  a  licence  should  be
granted under its enabling powers. No individual can assert a right  to  the
grant of a licence : trading in liquor  is  a  privilege  conferred  by  the
state. The directions which have been issued by this  Court  do  not  breach
any norm in the nature of a prohibition  nor  do  they  operate  to  lift  a
prohibition imposed by law.   The effect and purport of  the  directions  is
that in the interest of public safety and public health, the  distance  from
the outer edge of national or state highways or a  service  lane  along  the
highway is to be maintained of 500 metres.  This  does  not  amount  to  the
assumption of a legislative function by the Court.  In fact the  requirement
of maintaining a distance from the highway  (which  even  according  to  the
submission of counsel is adopted in a large number of states)  ensures  that
the prohibition on the grant of licences along the highway is  not  defeated
by the  presence  of  outlets  in  close  proximity  to  the  highway.   The
maintenance of an adequate buffer is a necessary incident of the  principle,
which is to prevent ready availability of liquor to users of a highway.   In
any event, no private individual can be heard to make  a  grievance  of  the
prescription of 500 metres which is manifestly in public interest.

16.   In the teeth of the  statistics  on  road  accidents  which  are  made
available to the  court  by  MoRTH,  we  are  not  inclined  to  accept  the
submission of Shri  K.K.Venugopal,  learned  senior  counsel,  that  drunken
driving is not the most important cause  of  road  accidents  (over-speeding
according to learned counsel being the main cause). Over-speeding  can  also
occur due to the driver being under influence of  alcohol.  Learned  counsel
urged that even in a ‘dry’  state  like  Gujarat,  accidents  occur  due  to
drunken driving.  Apart from the questionable authenticity of a private web-
site on the internet, we  have  considered  it  more  appropriate  to  place
reliance on official data of MoRTH. It is also necessary to  emphasise  that
there is a tendency to under-report drunken driving as a cause of  accidents
with a view not to prejudice  the  claims  of  victims  or  their  heirs  to
compensation. In fact even the data relied upon  by  Shri  Venugopal  states
that in 2011, the highest prevalence of accidents  due  to  drunken  driving
was in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and  Tamil
Nadu. We therefore do not find any substance in the submission.

17. The next aspect of the submissions urged before  the  Court  by  learned
senior counsel is that state highways  traverse  across  towns,  cities  and
villages. It  has  been  urged  that  the  application  of  the  prohibitory
distance of 500 metres would cause serious  hardship  particularly  if  more
than one state highway is found to intersect a municipal area.  The  example
of the city of Coimbatore was cited before this Court  to  urge  that  where
more than one highway intersects a municipal area the obligation to  observe
a distance of 500 metres would operate to    cause  serious  prejudice.  The
learned counsel appearing on behalf of  the  associations  representing  the
liquor trade or, as the case may  be,  individual  licencees  urged  that  a
graduated solution which exempts those segments of the state highways  which
traverse through villages, cities and towns should be adopted.   Shri  Kapil
Sibal, Shri Harish Salve, Dr A  M  Singhvi,  Shri  Jayant  Bhushan,  learned
senior counsel,  as  well  as  other  learned  counsel  suggested  the  same
approach. As and by way of an example, Shri Devdatt Kamat,  learned  counsel
appearing for the State of Karnataka  informed  the  Court  that  under  the
state excise rules, an exemption is  provided  from  the  application  of  a
prescribed distance of 220 metres in the  case  of  a  municipality  with  a
population of less than 20,000 people.

18.. To further buttress the submission, it was  urged  that  the  direction
which has been issued by the Court will result in a loss of revenue  to  the
States.  The  direction,  it  was  submitted,  would  result  in  individual
hardship, in cases where the shifting of a liquor shop may not  be  possible
due to geographical location or topography.  Alternately, it  was  submitted
that the shifting of a liquor shop may encounter other difficulties such  as
the presence of residential  areas  or  the  requirement  of  maintaining  a
stipulated distance from  educational and religious institutions.

19. The judgment delivered by this Court on 15  December  2016  indicates  a
rationale and basis for not allowing the exemption  for  those  segments  of
national and state highways which fall within the  limits  of  municipal  or
local authorities.  This Court noted that such  an  exclusion  would  defeat
the policy  since  the  availability  of  liquor  along  such  stretches  of
national or state highways would  merely  allow  drivers  to  replenish  the
stock of alcohol, resulting in a situation which the policy seeks  to  avoid
in the first place the directions which  have  been  issued  by  this  Court
restrain the grant of licences for the sale of liquor  along   national  and
state highways and within a stipulated distance of 500 metres of  the  outer
edge of a highway or of a service lane along  the  state  highway.  Sale  of
liquor along the highways is not exhaustive of the broad canvas of areas  in
which  licences which may be granted by a State.  Apart  from   areas  along
the national and state highways (or the stipulated distance of 500  metres),
licences  can  be  granted  over  other  areas  of  the  States  and   Union
Territories subject to compliance with the other requirements of the  excise
rules. No state has placed any data before the Court  to  indicate  that  no
licence can be granted at all  by it in an area other  than  along  a  state
highway or the buffer distance prescribed.  It would defy reason  to  assume
that in municipal areas, availability of liquor is only  along  the  segment
of a highway.  It may be attractive to the vendor to sell liquor  along  the
highway but that is not the touchstone  of  a  norm  which  protects  public
health and seeks to curb fatalities on the  highways  of  the  nation.   The
states  are  free  to  realise  revenues  from  liquor   licences   in   the
overwhelmingly large swathe of territories that  lie  outside  the  national
and state highways and the buffer distance of 500 metres.



20.  The pernicious nature of the sale of  liquor  along  the  national  and
state highways cannot be ignored. Drunken driving  is  a  potent  source  of
fatalities and injuries in road accidents.  The Constitution  preserves  and
protects the right to life as an  over-arching  constitutional  value.   The
preservation of public health and of  public  safety  is  an  instrument  of
enhancing the right to life as a constitutionally protected value.  Where  a
balance has to be drawn between protection of public health and  safety  and
the need to protect road users from the menace of drunken  driving  (on  the
one hand) and the trade in liquor (on the other hand) the interests  of  the
latter must be subordinate to the former.

21. Another submission which has been urged on behalf of the  applicants  is
that the expert committee appointed by this  Court  (chaired  by  Justice  S
Radhakrishnan, a former Judge of this Court) has recommended a  distance  of
100 metres with reference to  highways. In view of  this  recommendation  it
has been submitted that this Court ought  not  to  have  fixed  the  minimum
distance  at  500  metres.   We  find  no  merit  in  the  submission.   The
recommendation of the Committee cannot be placed on a  higher  footing  than
what it purports to be namely, a recommendation.  The opinion of the  Expert
Committee was duly  cited  before  this  Court  during  the  course  of  the
proceedings leading upto the judgment dated 15 December  2016.   We  are  of
the view that a distance of 100 metres with reference to the highway is  not
adequate to ensure that  users of the highway do  not  seek  access  to  the
sale of liquor in close proximity to the highway.  A distance of merely  100
metres will not serve the purpose which is sought to be achieved. Hence,  we
have not accepted that part of the recommendation of the Committee but  have
considered it appropriate to enhance the minimum distance.

22.  After considering the submissions which have  been  urged  before  this
Court, we are of the view that there are three areas  where  the  rigors  of
the directions which have been  issued by  this  Court  may  require  to  be
suitably modulated without affecting  the  basic  principle  underlying  the
judgment. .  The first is in relation to  limits  of  local  bodies  with  a
population of less than 20,000 people.  In such areas,  it  has  been  urged
before this Court that a state highway is the main thoroughfare  area  along
which the township has developed  in  small  clusters  of  20,000  or  less.
Hence, the requirement of maintaining  a distance of  500  metres  from  the
outer edge of the highway or service lane may result in a   situation  where
the entire local area may fall within  the  prohibited  distance.   We  find
some substance in the submission. We must emphatically clarify that even  in
such areas falling under  local  bodies  with  a  population  of  less  than
20,000, no licence for the sale of liquor should be issued  along  either  a
national  or   state  highway  or  a   service  lane  along  the    highway.
Similarly, the sale of liquor should  be  from  a  point  which  is  neither
visible from a national or  state highway or which  is  directly  accessible
from a national or  state  highway.   However,  in  such  a  situation,  the
prohibited distance should in our view be restricted to 220 metres from  the
outer edge of the national or  state highway or of a service lane along  the
highway.  We accordingly  direct  that  the  following  paragraph  shall  be
inserted, after direction (v) in paragraph 24 of  the  operative  directions
of this Court in the judgment dated 15 December 2016 namely :

“In the case of areas comprised  in  local  bodies   with  a  population  of
20,000 people or less, the distance of 500 metres  shall  stand  reduced  to
220 metres”.



23.   The second area upon which we propose to  issue  a  relaxation  is  in
respect of direction (iii) contained in paragraph  24  of  the  judgment  of
this Court. This Court has directed that existing licences which  have  been
renewed prior to the date of the order shall continue only  until  the  term
of the licence expires but not later than 1 April  2017.  This  was  on  the
basis that the excise year ends on 31 March with the end  of  the  financial
year. This Court has been apprised  during  the  course  of  hearing,   that
different states have  different  periods  of  operation  for  their  excise
years. Shri P.P.Rao, learned senior counsel, urged that  the  implementation
of the directions should be carried out so as to inflict ‘minimum  pain’  on
the trade, which is not illegal.   For  instance,  our  attention  has  been
drawn to the fact that the excise year in Telangana commences on  1  October
and ends on 30 September of the following year.   In  the  State  of  Andhra
Pradesh, the excise year is stated to end on  30  June.  Licencees  to  whom
licences have been allotted prior to the date of  the  judgment  would  have
made their investments.  The cut-off date of 1 April 2017  was  intended  to
protect such individuals.  However, some modification is  warranted  due  to
the prevalence of varying excise years.  In our view, the  ends  of  justice
would  be  met  by  issuing  the  following  direction  in  continuation  of
direction (iii) in paragraph 24 of the judgment of this Court :

“In the case of those licences for  the  sale  of  liquor  which  have  been
renewed prior to 15 December 2016 and  the  excise  year  of  the  concerned
state is to end on a date falling on or after 1  April  2017,  the  existing
licence shall continue until the term of the  licence  expires  but  in  any
event not later than 30 September 2017”.



In other words, no licence shall either  be  granted  or  renewed  or  shall
remain in operation in violation of the direction of this  Court  beyond  30
September 2017.



24.   In the State of Tamil Nadu, liquor vends are operated by TASMAC  which
is a state owned entity. In the judgment of this Court, time until 1  April,
2017 was granted on the request of the State. Hence,  we  decline  to  grant
any further extension to the State of Tamil Nadu.



25.   The third area is in relation to the States of Sikkim (argued by  Shri
A.K.Ganguly, learned senior counsel) and Meghalaya  which  have  moved  this
Court for a suitable modification of  the  judgment  having  regard  to  the
nature of the hilly terrain. In relation to the State of Sikkim, this  Court
has been apprised on behalf of the State Government that nearly 82 per  cent
of the area of the state is forested and 92 per cent of the shops will  have
to be closed as a result of the directions of this Court.    Similarly,  the
State  of  Meghalaya  has  placed  before  this  Court  peculiar  conditions
prevailing in the State as a result of the hilly terrain.   We  are  of  the
view that insofar as the States of Meghalaya and Sikkim  are  concerned,  it
would suffice if the two states are exempted only from  the  application  of
the 500 metre distance requirement provided in paragraph 24(v)(iii)  of  the
judgment of this Court on 15 December 2016.



26..  Insofar as the State of Himachal Pradesh is concerned, we are  of  the
view that the exemption which has been granted earlier in respect  of  areas
falling under local bodies with a population  of  20,000  will  sufficiently
protect the interests of the State. No further relaxation  is  granted  over
and above what has already been stated in that regard.



27.  Finally we  clarify that we are not inclined to issue  a  direction  in
terms as sought by Shri Aryama Sundaram, learned senior  counsel  and  other
counsel  that the judgment of this Court should be clarified so as to  apply
only to shops involving sale of liquor.  Since the object of  the  direction
is to prevent drunken driving, no such relaxation can be  made  which  would
defeat the object  which  is  sought  to  be  achieved.   Consequently,  the
directions issued by this Court cannot  be  read  down,  as  suggested.  The
directions shall be read, as they stand.



28.  We accordingly dispose of this batch of Interlocutory  applications  in
terms of the above.  The Civil Appeal shall stand disposed of  in  terms  of
the judgment dated 15 December 2016 and the order passed today.

...........................................CJI
                                            [JAGDISH SINGH KHEHAR]



...........................................J
                                            [Dr  D Y  CHANDRACHUD]



...........................................J
                                            [L NAGESWARA RAO]

New Delhi
MARCH 31  2017


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                 REVIEW PETITION (CIVIL) D.NO. 6688 OF 2017

                                     IN

                   CIVIL APPEAL  NOS. 12164-12166  OF 2016

STATE OF U.P.                                … Petitioner
THR.PRINCIPAL SECRETARY, EXCISE

versus

K. BALU & ORS.                                     … Respondents



                                O  R  D  E  R

            Permission to file Review Petiton is granted.  Objection  raised
by the office is waived.

            In view of the order passed by this Court on 31  March  2017  in
I.A.Nos.4 to  6  etc.etc.  in  C.A.Nos.12164-12166  of  2016  and  also  the
judgment of this Court dated 15 December 2016  in  Civil  Appeal  Nos.12164-
12166 of 2016 etc, this Review Petition is also disposed of.


                                                .....…………..……………….…....…CJI.
                                  (Jagdish Singh Khehar)


                                  ………………...…………………….…J.
                                  (Dr D Y Chandrachud)


                                  ………………...…………………….…J.
New Delhi;                        (L. Nageswara Rao)
March  31, 2017.
                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                         CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

                CONTEMPT PETITION (CIVIL) D.NO. 9250 OF 2017

                                     IN

                   CIVIL APPEAL  NOS. 12164-12166  OF 2016


V M SUDHEERAN                                … Petitioner


versus

PINARAYI VIJAYAN AND ORS.                          … Respondents



                                O  R  D  E  R



            In view of the order passed by this Court on 31  March  2017  in
I.A.Nos.4 to  6  etc.etc.  in  C.A.Nos.12164-12166  of  2016  and  also  the
judgment of this Court dated 15 December 2016  in  Civil  Appeal  Nos.12164-
12166 of 2016 etc, this Contempt Petition is also disposed of.


                                                .....…………..……………….…....…CJI.
                                  (Jagdish Singh Khehar)


                                  ………………...…………………….…J.
                                  (Dr D Y Chandrachud)


                                  ………………...…………………….…J.
New Delhi;                        (L. Nageswara Rao)
March  31, 2017.



ITEM NO.32(For Orders)      COURT NO.1               SECTION XII


               S U P R E M E  C O U R T  O F  I N D I A
                       RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS


I.A.Nos.4-6 & 7-9, 10-12, 13-15, 16-18, 19-21, 22-24, 25-27,  28-30,  31-33,
34-36, 37-39, 40-42 in Civil Appeal No(s).12164-12166/2016


THE STATE OF TAMIL NADU REP. BY SEC.&ORS           Appellant(s)



                                VERSUS

K. BALU & ANR.                                     Respondent(s)

WITH

I.A.Nos.5, 6 and 7 In C.A. No.12169/2016
C.A. No.12170/2016
[HEARD BY HON'BLE THE  CHIEF  JUSTICE,  HON'BLE  DR.  D.Y.  CHANDRACHUD  AND
HON'BLE L.NAGESWARA RAO, JJ.]

Date  :  31/03/2017   These   applications/appeal   were   called   on   for
         orders today.



For Appearing          Mr. Subramonium Prasad, Sr. Adv.(AAG)
Parties                Mr. B. Balaji, Adv.
                       Mr. Muthuvel Palani, Adv.

                       Mr. S. Udaya Kumar Sagar, Adv.
                       Mr. Mrityunjai Singh, Adv.

                       Mr.R.Venkata Ramani, Sr.Adv.
                       Mr.V. G. Pragasam, Adv.
                       Mr.Prabu Ramasubramanian, Adv.

                       Mr. Yashraj Singh Bundela, Adv.
                       Mr. Ankur Talwar, Adv.


                       Dr.Rajeev Dhawan, Sr.Adv.
                       Mr.N.K.Perumal, Adv.
                       Mr.H.D.Kumaravel, Adv.
                       Ms.V.S.Lakshmi, Adv.
                       Mr.A.Venayagan Balan, Adv.


                       Dr.Rajeev Dhawan, Sr.Adv.
                       Mr.D.Das, Adv.
                       Mr.R.B.Phookan, Adv.
                       Ms.Neha T.Phookan, Adv.
                       Mr.Ishan Das, Adv.
                       Mr.Shailesh Madiyal, Adv.


                       Mr.D.K.Thakur, AAG
                       Mr.Shariq Ahmed, Adv.
                       Mr.Varinder Kumar Sharma, Adv.

                       Mr.M. Ram Babu, Adv.
                       Mr.Ashok Bannidinni, Adv.
                       Mr.P.V.Saravana Raja, Adv.
                       Mr.Meka Venkata Rama Krishna, Adv.
                       Mr.Vamshi Rao, Adv.
                       Mr. Rayala Subba Rao, Adv.


                       Mr.Subodh Kr.Pathak, Adv.
                       Mr.Abhijeet Chatterjee, Adv.
                       Ms.Shashi Ranjan, Adv.
                       Mr.Adil Alvi, Adv.
                       Ms.Devahuti Tamuli, Adv.
                       Ms. Barnati Basak, Adv.

                       Mr.Avijit Patnaik, Adv.
                       Mr.Srisatya Mohanty, Adv



                       Mr. P.V. Dinesh, Adv.
                       Ms. Sindhu T.P., Adv
                       Mr. Bineesh K, Adv.
                       Mr. Rajendra Beniwal, Adv.
                       Mr. Arushi Singh, Adv.

                       Mr.Raghavendra S.Srivatsa, Adv.
                       Mr.Venkita Subramoniam, Adv.
                          Mr.Rahat Bansal, Adv.


                       Mr.G.Prakash, Adv.
                       Mr.Jishnu ML, Adv.
                       Mrs. Priyanka Prakash, Adv.
                       Mrs. Beena Prakash, Adv.
                       Mr. Manu Srinath, Adv.


                       Mr.Ram Sankar, Adv.
                       Mr.P.Jegan, Adv.
                       Mr. Arun Singh, Adv.
                       Mr. Surya Narayana Patro, Adv.
                       Mr. Y. Lokesh, Adv.
                       for Mr. R.V. Kameshwaran, AOR


                       Mr. Amol N. Suryawanshi, Adv.
                       Mr. Prashant Kenjale, Adv.

                       Mr.Abhijit Chattopadhyay, Adv.
                       Mr.Sandeep Lamsa, Adv.
                       Mr. Sanjay Kumar Lal Das, Adv.
                       Ms. Priyanka Das, Adv.


                        Ms.Nandini Sen, Adv.
                        Mr.Suman Sengupta, Adv


                        Mr.Venkateshwar Rao Anumulu, Adv.
                        Mr.Prabhakar Parnam, Adv.



                        Mr.Arun Singh, Adv.
                        Mr.R.V.Kameshwaran, Adv.


                        Mr. Ajit Kr. Sinha, Sr. Adv.
                        Mr.A.K.Panda, Sr.Adv.
                        Ms.Binu Tamta, Adv.
                        Mr.S.S.Rawat, Adv.
                        Mr.G.S.Makker, Adv.
                        Ms. Somya Rathore, Adv.
                        Mr. Ansh Singh Luthra, Adv.


                        Mr.Dhruv Dewan, Adv.
                        Mr.Vikshit Arora, Adv.
                        Ms.Reena Choudhary, Adv.
                        Mr.Koshubh Devmani, Adv.
                        Ms.Ananya Ghosh, Adv.

                        Mr.Mahesh Agarwal, Adv.
                        Mr.Abhinav Agrawal, Adv.
                        Ms. Sadapuria Mukherjee, Adv.
                        Mr. Munjal Bhatt, Adv.


                        Mr.Ashutosh Dubey, Adv.
                        Mr.Krishnendu Sarkar, Adv.
                        Mr.Abhishek Chauhan, Adv.
                        Mr.V.S.Rawat, Adv.
                        Ms. Rajshri Dubey, Adv.
                        Mr. Sushil Pandey, Adv.


                        Mr.A.Mariarputham, AG
                        Ms.Aruna Mathur, Adv.
                        Mr.Avneesh Arputham, Adv.
                        Ms.Anuradha Arputham, Adv.
                        Mr.Amit Arora, Adv.

                        Mr.P.V.Yogeshwaran, Adv.
                        Mr.Ashish Kr.Upadhyay, Adv.



                        Mr.Suresh Ch.Tripathy, Adv.


                        Mr.Prasenjit Keswani, Adv.
                        Mr.Satyajit Saha, Adv.
                        for Mrs. V.D. Khanna, AOR


                        Mr.Aashish Gupta, Adv.
                        Mr.Dushyant Manocha, Adv.
                        Mr.Ishan Gaur, Adv.
                       Mr.Aditya Mukherjee, Adv.
                       Ms.Taruna Dhingra, Adv.
                       Mr.S.S.Shroff, Adv.

                       Mr.V.N.Raghupathy, Adv.
                       Mr.Parikshit P.Angadi, Adv.
                       Mr. Chinmay Deshpande, Adv.


                       Mr.Jayesh K.Unnikrishnan, Adv.
                       Ms.Manju Das, Adv.
                       Mr.Aviral Kashyap, Adv.
                       Ms. Sasmita Tripathy, Adv.

                       Mr.Aarohi Bhalla, Adv.
                       Mr.Ardhendumauli Kumar Prasad, Adv.

                       Mr.S.K.Das, Adv.
                       Mr.R.Nedumaran, Adv.

                       Ms.Suvira Lal, Adv.
                       Mr.M.C.Dhingra, Adv.


                       Ms.G.N.Rampal, Adv.
                       Mr.Pijush Kant Roy, Adv.




                       Mr.Ravi Kamal Gupta, Adv
                       Mr.Nikunj Dayal, Adv.
                       Mr. Pramod Dayal, Adv.
                       Ms. Payal Dayal, Adv.


                       Mr.Tejaswi Kumar Pradhan, Adv.
                       Mr.M.Paikaray, Adv.


                       Mr.Sumanth Nookala, Adv.
                       Mr.Goli Ramakrishna, Adv.


                       Mr.Vinay Navare, Adv.
                       Ms.Abha R.Sharma, Adv.


                       Mr.Kaleeswaram Raj, Adv.
                       Mr.Suvidutt M.S., Adv.
                       Mr.Sai Deepak Iyer, Adv.
                       Mr.Arnold Harvey, Adv.
                       Mr. Ashutosh Nagar, Adv.

                       Mr.Manoj V.George, Adv.
                       Mr.B.D.Das, Adv.
                       Ms.Shilpa Liza George, Adv.
                       Mr.Amit Masih, Adv.
                       Mr.Tarun Kant Samantray, Adv.

                       Mr.Roy Abraham, Adv.
                       Ms.Seema Jain, Adv.
                        Ms.Rajni Ohri Lal, Adv.
                        for Mr. Himinder Lal, AOR


                                     Mr.Pankaj Pandey, Adv.
                        Dr. Gajendra Prasad Singh, Adv.


                                 Mr. S. Thananjayan, Adv.
                        Mr. Jothimanian, Adv.



                                      Mr. V. K. Biju, Adv.


                        Mr. Ranjan Mukherjee, Adv.


                        Mr.V.Balaji, Adv.
                        Mr.T.Ashok Kumar, Adv
                        Mr.Prashant Kenjale, Adv.
                        Mr.Atul Sharma, Adv.
                        Ms.Sripradha K., Adv
                        Mr. Rakesh K. Sharma, Adv.


                        Mr.Yatish Mohan, Adv.
                        Ms.Reena Yadav, Adv.
                        Mr.Kedar Nath Tripathy, Adv.
                        Mr.M.A.Aleem Majid, Adv.


                        Mr.Sameer Parekh, Adv.
                        Mr.Sumit Goel, Adv.
                        Ms.Nandita Bajpai, Adv.

                        Dr. Rajeev B. Masodkar, Adv.
                        Mr. Azeem Kalebudde, Adv.
                        Mr. Ravi Sharma, Adv.

                        Mr. Sumit Kumar, Adv.
                        Mr. Sudhir Chand Srivastava, Adv.

                        Ms. Diksha Rai, Adv.

                        Mr. Sameer Dawar, Adv.
                        Mr. Narender Singh Yadav, Adv.

                        Ms. Hetu Arora Sethi, Adv.
                        Mr. Yogesh Jagia, Adv.
                        Mr. Amit Sood, Adv.



                        Mr. Gopal Sankarnarayan, Adv.
                        Mr. Zeeshan Diwan, Adv.
                        Mr. Aman Guta, AOR


                        Mr. Guntur Prabhakar, Adv.
                        Ms. Prerna Singh, Adv.


                       Ms. Suvira Lal, Adv.
                       for Mr. M.C. Dhingra, AOR

                       Mr. Parveen Kumar Aggarwal, Adv.
                       Mr. Sanjay Jain, Adv.



            Hon'ble Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud pronounced the order of  the  Court
comprising Hon'ble the Chief Justice, His Lordship and Hon'ble  Mr.  Justice
L. Nageswara Rao.


            All  interlocutory  applications  and  the  civil  appeal  stand
disposed of, in terms of the reportable signed order.


            Review Petition and Contempt Petition also  stand  disposed  of,
in terms of two separate signed orders.





  (Renuka Sadana)                                  (Parveen Kumar)
Assistant Registrar                                        AR-cum-PS

[One reportable signed order and two signed orders in  Review  and  Contempt
Petitions are placed on the file]


-----------------------
[1]

      [2]    (2017) 2 SCC 281


-----------------------
REPORTABLE





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