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Nearly 34 Gurgaon Pubs, Bars May Go Dry From April 1

The apex court had made it clear that licenses of existing shops will not be renewed after March 31, 2017 making the future of those restaurants and bars that have been mushrooming lately, unclear and uncertain.

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Nearly 34 pubs and bars in Gurgaon's Cyber Hub, located near the Delhi Gurgaon Expressway,  may go dry  from April 1 following a Supreme Court order that proposed to put a clamp on the sale of liquor within 500 metres of national and state highways.

The excise department has also identified another 109 pubs and 43 liquor vends that would lose their licences on April 1 in compliance with the apex court order, said a report in Hindustan Times.

The general manager of a popular brewery had told the newspaper that "At least more than three and half lakh employees face the risk of losing jobs." He also said that the restaurants were being targeted 'unjustifiably.' 

In an attempt to curb the rising rate of road mishaps owing to cases of drink and drive, the Supreme Court had mandated the closure of sale of liquor within 500 metres of National and State highways.

On December 15, 2016, the apex court had made it clear that licenses of existing shops will not be renewed after March 31, 2017  making the future of those restaurants and bars that have been mushrooming lately, unclear and uncertain. 

Expressing concern over the 1.5 lakh fatalities every year in road mishaps, the SC had reserved its verdict on December 7 last year seeking to amend excise laws to ensure liquor is not sold alongside highways and had reprimanded the Punjab government for seeking relaxation and permitting the liquor shops. 

"Look at the number of licences you (Punjab) have given. Because the liquor lobby is so powerful, everyone is happy. The excise department is happy, the excise minister is happy and the state government is also happy that they are making money. If a person dies due to this, you give Rs one or 1.5 lakh. That is it. You should take a stand which is helpful for the society," the bench had said.

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