HC summons Hry excise chief over liquor vends
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday summoned the excise and taxation commissioners (ETCs) of Haryana and Punjab over their failure to stop liquor vends along the national highways in both the states.
Both the officers have been asked to appear in person before the HC on December 21, to explain why liquor vends continue to function along the highways despite court directions.
A division bench headed by Justice A K Mittal passed these orders after taking cognizance of media reports on running of liquor vends along the highways in violation of the HC directions. Terming the incidents reported by media as mockery of judicial orders by the state authorities, the bench also observed that a welfare state should not be so adamant in ignoring the court directions issued for public cause.
Upset over the liquor vends running along the national and state highways in Punjab, the bench on November 30 had observed that if the state government was too concerned with revenue generation, then it should open a liquor vend in the state civil secretariat.
The matter is pending before the HC in the wake of a petition filed by NGO Arrive Safe through its president against the liquor vends on national and state highways. On March 18, 2014, the HC had directed both Punjab and Haryana to immediately remove liquor vends and shift them at a distance of at least 1000 meters from the national highway so that they are not easily accessible and visible from the national highways/state highways or the service lane running along such highways. According to the petitioner, a large number of liquor vends are still functioning along the highways in the state of Punjab.