Shimla: With liquor vends operating near schools, the Himachal Pradesh High Court directed the government to clarify the policy for opening liquor shops and the mode devised to measure distances from educational institutions.
Treating a letter to the Chief Justice from Ashok Kumar, a resident of Poanta Sahib, as public interest litigation taken up suo motto by the court, the division bench of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rajiv Sharma observed that liquor vending police followed in the state about distance from educational institutions, places of worship and bus stands appeared to lack clarity.
The court directed principal secretary and commissioner, excise and taxation to specify by November 19, when the case comes up for further hearing as to how a measure of 60 meters distance from these places is measured when permitting opening of liquor vend in any area.
The policy provides that “there shall be no such liquor vend within the distance of 60 meters from the recognized educational institutions, place of worship and inter-district bus stands.”
If the distance is to be measured from the gate or main entry, it is always to evade the rule by re-fixing the main entry points of such institutions. What is to be seen, is actually the access from such instructions to the liquor vends either by the gate
or by otherwise, the judges observed.
Petitioner Ashok Kumar in the letter has pointed out that a liquor vend situated near girls Senior Secondary School, Poanta Sahib and has pleaded that directions be issued to the authorities to remove the liquor vend.