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Posted On : 19 Apr, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : Chandigarh 
SC ban on liquor sale along highways not applicable to marriage palaces: Pb AG
In a move likely to bring relief to managements of marriage palaces, Punjab Excise and Taxation department is set to allow marriage palaces located within 500 meters of highways to serve liquor.

Following a decision by the Supreme Court to ban sale of liquor along the highways, the Punjab government had sought the opinion of the state's Advocate General Atul Nanda whether the judghement was applicable to marriage palaces also.

"We have received the opinion of AG Punjab. As per his opinion, the marriage palaces are not within the scope of the SC ruling," Punjab Additional Commissioner of Excise and Taxation department, Gurtej Singh said today.

"Following this opinion, instructions in this regard will be issued accordingly by the department," he said.

Notably, the apex court had banned liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state highways. This order was also applicable to bars, pubs and restaurants in the wake of road accidents owing to drunken driving.

Till there was clarity on the matter, marriage palaces were asked not to allow liquor in functions.

Because of the SC order, 1,000 marriage palaces were found to be within 500 meters of highways.

Punjab Marriage Palace and Resort Association S S Sidhu said the SC verdict would have hit their industry hard.

The association had maintained that they should not be stopped serving liquor as the apex court order did not mention marriage palaces in its order.

They had also pointed out that there was a ban on sale of liquor in the order while marriage palaces did not sell or purchase liquor.

The bustling marriage palace industry of the state was on the tenterhooks after they were stopped from serving liquor in marriage or other social functions.

In Punjab, marriages are often celebrated with a liberal flow of booze, especially in rural areas.
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