Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High court (HC) has directed the state government to close a liquor outlet at Batwara in high security Cantonment area on Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
A single bench of the HC comprising Justice Ramalingum Sudhakar gave the direction on a petition filed by locals residents who said despite Supreme Court order to close all wine and liquor shops on the highway, the outlet was still operation in the area.
Ordering closure of a wine outlet by April 25, Justice Sudhakar directed the government through Chief Secretary and Director General of Police to file compliance on closure of the wine shop housed in a Hotel at Broadway Batwara.
The court direction came after hearing a petition filed by residents of nearby locality Shivpora who have authorized a local resident Bilal Ahmad Bhat for conducting the case on their behalf before the court.
Counsel for the petitioners Musaib Ahmad pleaded in court that the government has failed to implement directions of the Supreme Court that disallow any sale of liquor, from an outlet visible from national or state highway or is directly accessible from national or state highway or is situated within a distance of 500 metres of the outer edge of the national or state highway or of a service lane along the highway.
The petition further said that the residents of nearby localities have suffered immensely because of liquor shop due to which most of the times ruckus is caused by the drunkards in the vicinity.
The residents through the petition submitted that the shop owner is selling liquor in clear contravention of the orders of the Supreme Court and is causing harassment to them and they are forced to live a life of fear and threat.
Seeking implementation of SC judgments, the petitioners plead that the authorities be directed to cancel the licence of liquor shop and disallow its functioning.
All liquor shops in the Kashmir valley were closed after the eruption of militancy in the Kashmir valley early 90s. However, the wine shop at Broadway Batwara and another at Alochi Bagh were opened in 1996. However, Alochi Bagh was closed following massive protests by locals and several grenade attacks.
However, the Bartwara wine outlet continued sale because in high security zone.
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