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Monday, February 26, 2018

corporate laws - Excise laws - sale of liquor along and in the proximity of highways = the state governments would not be precluded from determining whether the principle which has been laid down by this Court in the order dated 11 July 2017 in Arrive Safe Society (supra) should also apply to areas covered by local selfgoverning bodies and statutory development authorities. We are inclined to allow the state governments to make this determination since it is a question of fact as to whether an area covered by a local self-governing body is proximate to a municipal agglomeration or is sufficiently developed as to warrant the application of the same principle. In deciding as to whether the principle which has been set down in the order dated 11 July 2017 should be extended to a local self-governing body (or statutory development authority) the state governments would take recourse to all relevant circumstances including the nature and extent of development in the area and the object underlying the direction prohibiting the sale of liquor on national and the state highways. The use of the expression ‘municipal areas’ in the order dated 11 July 2017 does not prevent the state governments from making that determination and from taking appropriate decisions consistent with the object of the orders passed by this Court. We leave it open to individual licensees to submit their representations to the competent authorities in the state governments if they are so advised upon which appropriate decisions may be taken by the state governments.

1

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
MA Nos 489-491/2018, 366-368/2018, 392-394/2018, 395-397/2018, 388-
390/2018, 1543-1545/2017, 1546-1548/2017
AND
 1549-1551/2017
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
O R D E R
Dr. D Y CHANDRACHUD, J.
1 This batch of MAs/IAs arises from the judgment dated 15 December
2016 rendered by this Court in State of Tamil Nadu v K Balu1 and the
subsequent orders dated 31 March 2017 and 11 July 2017. The last of the
above orders was delivered in Arrive Safe Society of Chandigarh v The
Union Territory of Chandigarh 2
.
1 Civil Appeal 12164-12166/2016
2 Special Leave Petition (C) No.10243 of 2017
REPORTABLE
2
2 Though the reliefs which have been sought in the individual MAs/IAs
may differ, during the course of the hearing there is a broad consensus that for
the purpose of the present proceedings, it would be sufficient if this Court were
to interpret paragraph 7 of the order dated 11 July 2017. Paragraph 7 is
extracted below:
“7. The purpose of the directions contained in the order dated 15
December 2016 is to deal with the sale of liquor along and in proximity
of highways properly understood, which provide connectivity between
cities, towns and villages. The order does not prohibit licensed
establishments within municipal areas. This clarification shall govern
other municipal areas as well. We have considered it appropriate to
issue this clarification to set at rest any ambiguity and to obviate
repeated recourse to IAs, before the Court.”
3 Learned counsel submitted that the expression ‘municipal areas’ in the
above paragraph was not intended to exclude areas within the jurisdiction of
local self-governing bodies. Many of them, it is urged, may be developed in a
manner similar to municipalities. Others, may be geographically proximate to
an urban agglomeration. Hence it was urged that an appropriate direction may
be issued to obviate uncertainties in application, occasioning the need for
repeated recourse to this Court or, as the case may be, litigation in the High
Courts.
4 The application has been opposed by one of the contesting intervenors
who placed reliance on the decisions of this Court in APSRTC v Abdul
Kareem3
 and Cine Exhibitions Private Limited v Collector, District
3 (2007) 2 SCC 466
3
Gwalior4
. It has been urged that an application for modification or clarification
of a judgment would fall within the realm of a review and hence the present
applications would not be maintainable.
5 Dealing with the above objection, the learned counsel appearing on
behalf of the applicants submit that they seek neither a review nor a
modification of the orders passed by this Court. The attention of the Court
was drawn to an order dated 13 December 2017 passed by this Court in Writ
Petition (C) Nos 964/2017 and 1050/2017 in the following terms:
“Having heard learned counsel for the parties, we think it appropriate to
direct that each of the petitioners shall submit a representation within
three weeks hence, stating that they are entitled to be governed by the
principle as applicable to the municipal areas/MIDC developed areas.
The individual facts shall be mentioned in each representation. The
same shall be considered by the competent authority and decided,
keeping in view the judgments of this Court, preferably within four weeks
from the date of receipt of the representation. Needless to say, the
representation shall be decided by ascribing reasons and recording a
finding. If the petitioners are aggrieved, they can approach this Court.
With the aforesaid directions and liberty, the writ petitions stand
disposed of. “
The submission is that it will suffice if permission is granted to the state
governments to determine whether the applicants and similarly placed
individuals are governed by the principle which was laid down by this Court in
relation to municipal areas.
6 In Cine Exhibitions Private Limited (supra) a bench of two learned
Judges comprising of Justice KSP Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra,
(as the learned Chief Justice then was) held thus:
4 (2012) 6 SCC 698
4
“Generally an application for correction of a typographical error or
omission of a word, etc. in a judgment or order would lie, but a petition
which is intended to review an order or judgment under Order 47 Rule 1
of the Code of Civil Procedure and in criminal proceedings except on the
ground of an error apparent on the face of the record, could not be
achieved by filing an application for clarification/modification/recall or
rehearing, for which a properly constituted review is the remedy. (Id at
page 703-704)”
In the present proceedings neither is the Court called upon to review its
judgment nor to modify its orders. In fact reliance has been placed on the
orders passed by this Court on 11 July 2017 in Arrive Safe Society(supra)
and subsequently in Hotel Sonai Beer Bar and Permit Room v State of
Maharashtra5
 and the connected writ petitions referred to earlier.
7 In the order passed by this Court on 11 July 2017, it was observed that
the purpose of the directions contained in the order dated 15 December 2016
is to deal with the sale of liquor along and in the proximity of highways
properly understood, which provide connectivity between cities, towns and
villages. Having regard to this object it was noted that the order does not
prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas. Indeed, in order to
ensure that the order is uniformly understood across the country, this Court
clarified that it will govern other municipal areas as well. In the subsequent
order of this Court dated 13 December 2017, liberty has been granted to the
licence holders to submit a representation to the state government that the
same principle should apply to the licensed establishments of the petitioners,
as they apply to municipal areas/MIDC developed areas (in relation to the
5 Special Leave Petition (C) No 19845/2017
5
State of Maharashtra).
8 Having regard to these directions, we are of the view that the state
governments would not be precluded from determining whether the principle
which has been laid down by this Court in the order dated 11 July 2017 in
Arrive Safe Society (supra) should also apply to areas covered by local selfgoverning
bodies and statutory development authorities. We are inclined to
allow the state governments to make this determination since it is a question
of fact as to whether an area covered by a local self-governing body is
proximate to a municipal agglomeration or is sufficiently developed as to
warrant the application of the same principle. In deciding as to whether the
principle which has been set down in the order dated 11 July 2017 should be
extended to a local self-governing body (or statutory development authority)
the state governments would take recourse to all relevant circumstances
including the nature and extent of development in the area and the object
underlying the direction prohibiting the sale of liquor on national and the state
highways. The use of the expression ‘municipal areas’ in the order dated 11
July 2017 does not prevent the state governments from making that
determination and from taking appropriate decisions consistent with the object
of the orders passed by this Court. We leave it open to individual licensees
to submit their representations to the competent authorities in the state
governments if they are so advised upon which appropriate decisions may be
taken by the state governments. We have issued this general direction to
6
obviate both litigation before the High Courts and repeated recourse to
applications to this Court.
9 With the above observations, the MAs/IAs shall stand disposed of.

.............................................CJI
 [DIPAK MISRA]

……..........................................J
 [AMITAVA ROY]
 ..................................................J
 [Dr D Y CHANDRACHUD]
New Delhi;
February 23, 2018. 

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