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Sidhu moves HC again on illegal access to highway liquor vend

April 03, 2019 06:48 AM


Sidhu moves HC again on illegal access to highway liquor vends


The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday issued notice to the states of Punjab and Haryana and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) after NGO Arrive Safe through its president Harman Sidhu filed a contempt plea over their failure in taking action against liquor vends on the highways without access permission from the NHAI.

The petitioner informed the high court that on national highways, more than unauthorized occupation, unauthorized access poses greater safety hazard to traffic and road users. The practice is continuing despite the clear directions by the Punjab and Haryana high court on March 27, 2018, he added.

Justice Nirmaljit Kaur issued the notice on Sidhu’s plea seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against the authorities of both the states and NHAI for willful disobedience of the court orders.

Vends: HC said NHAI nod must for access

In his plea, Sidhu submitted that on March 27, 2018, the Punjab and Haryana high court had made it clear that no liquor vends, even those within MC area but beyond the town limits, shall be allowed to operate without access permission from NHAI. The HC was of the view that as per the Control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002, it would be essential that permission for occupying lands falling outside municipal limits of the towns, cities and villages but falling on the highway, would be required from NHAI.

“It shall be for the Highway Administration to examine individual cases and determine the proximity of the location of the liquor vend to the towns, cities and villages on the highways within the municipal areas keeping in view the safety and convenience of traffic in terms of the provisions of the 2002 Act,’’ the high court had ordered.

In his contempt plea, Sidhu has submitted that the NHAI could only serve notices and felt unable to remove any unauthorised access. “The guidelines issued by NHAI empowers its project directors and reminds them of their powers under the National Highways (Land &Traffic) Act 2002, to control unauthorised occupation of land and unauthorised access and also to regulate the traffic on national highways. However, despite there being a statutory provision since 2002 no enforcement has been seen when it comes to setting the liquor lobby at naught,” he informed HC.

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