Goa to file review plea in SC over highway liquor sale ban

Panaji
13 Feb 2017

Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar today said his government would file a review petition in Supreme Court over its order banning sale of liquor along state and national highways. As per Goa Excise department, the order is going to affect 3,000 of the total 11,000 outlets in Goa, while also denting toursim in the coastal state. "The states, which are going to be affected with this order were not taken into confidence by the Supreme Court while delivering the order... SC should have made us (Goa) a party while hearing the petition. We were not taken into confidence," he told reporters here on the sidelines of an event. He said his government has already taken opinion of the State Advocate General over the issue. "Such an order will also adversely affect the tourism industry. Therefore, we will file a review petition in the SC against the order," Parsekar said. He claimed that the geographical conditions in Goa are such that the order will affect almost the entire state, with several highways running across it. In December, the apex court had ordered ban on all the liquor shops within 500 metres of national and state highways across the country, a move aimed at reducing drunken driving and road accidents that claim thousands of lives every year. Licences of existing shops will not be renewed after March 31 next year, it had said. The liquor vendors have decided to hit the streets if the order is implemented. Responding to a query on the validity of the state assembly for its failure to meet for over six months, Parsekar said it was due to the delay in the counting date fixed by the Election Commission that such a situation has arisen. As per the Article 174 of the Indian Constitution, the state legislative assembly should meet at least once in every six months, failing which the Governor may dissolve the legislative assembly. For Goa, it was due before February 26 as the last assembly session was held on August 26. Parsekar said the state chief secretary has already written to the Election Commission of India asking them to dilute the code of conduct, which is still in force in the state after the February 4 election. It is likely to continue till the counting day on March 11. "The development works in the state are kept on hold due to the code of conduct," he said.(PTI)