It's ‘cheers’ to all the liquor vends and taverns being run in prefabricated structures across the city. For the apex court, on Wednesday, ordered a status quo against the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court wherein the high court had directed that all the liquor vends located on green belts be shifted by June 28 failing which they would be closed.
Lending a breather, a division bench of Justice H L Gokhale and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai today ordered a status quo on shifting of the 23 liquor vends which are being run from pre-fabricated structures on the green belts in different sectors of the city.
Manjinder Singh, of M/s Royal Wines, who was the main petitioners in the SLP filed in the apex court today said, “It is a much needed respite for all the licensees who have got these vends after quoting huge amounts in the auction held recently”.
A senior official of the UT Administration on conditions of anonymity said, “ For now, at least there would be no loss of revenue. If all the 23 vends would shut down , it would obviously mean a huge loss to the exchequer”.
Earlier, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued directions for the shifting of all the liquor vends and taverns being run in pre-fabricated structures on the green belts of Chandigarh. If the vends and taverns were not shifted to other places, they were to be closed down by June 28, the Bench had ruled.
The directions came as a major setback to the Chandigarh Excise Department as a significant part of the revenue comes from the pre-fabricated liquor vends. Now the UT Administration has to file a status report in this case on July 2.
Interestingly, unaware about the SLP being filed in the apex court, the UT Excise Department had already served notices to said the liquor vends to shift to an alternate site or be ready fro closure on June 28.
The petitioners, had stated that the Excise Department had granted licences to the liquor vends situated on the roadside near roundabout and traffic lights in different sectors of the city.These vends and taverns had been causing traffic jams, drunken brawls and wrong parking on the roadsides.
The permission to establish the vends and tavern in pre-fabricated structures was also in violation of rules of the Capitol