New Delhi, August 24: In a relief to liquor and bar shop owners, the Supreme Court has clarified that the ban on alcohol sales close to state and national highways is not applicable to those outlets that are within municipal areas of a city. The apex court order was in response to a special leave petition filed by an NGO – Arrive Safe Society of Chandigarh – against the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Also Read - UPSC Prelims: Will Aspirants Get an Extra Attempt? Check Central Govt's Decision

“The purpose of the directions contained in the order dated 15 December 2016 is to deal with the sale of liquor along and in proximity of highways properly understood, which provide connectivity between cities, towns and villages. The order does not prohibit licenced establishments within municipal areas. This clarification shall govern other municipal areas as well. We have considered it appropriate to issue this clarification to set at rest any ambiguity …,” stated an order by an SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar. Also Read - Sandalwood Drugs Case: Ragini Dwivedi Granted Bail by Supreme Court

On December 15, 2016, the apex court had banned the sale of liquor within 500 metre of national and state highways, except in Meghalaya and Sikkim. In July this year, Arunachal Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands were also exempted from the ban. Also Read - Supreme Court Sends Notice to Mirzapur Makers, Amazon Prime Video