Uttar Pradesh to shut 56 liquor shops on apex court’s order

February 27th, 2008 - 11:25 pm ICT by admin  

Lucknow, Feb 27 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government has identified 56 liquor shops in the vicinity of educational institutions, places of worship and hospitals in the Lucknow district that would be shut down after a Supreme court verdict. The issue was raised through two separate petitions filed before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. The petitioners had sought to draw the court’s attention to the public nuisance on account of the liquor shops in the vicinity of schools, colleges, hospitals and religious places.

The high court upheld the petition, and the liquor lobby approached the Supreme Court. The apex court upheld the high court’s decision early this week.

“Since their permit is valid up to March 31, we will let them operate only until that date, beyond which those particular shops will not be considered at all for renewal”, Lucknow District Magistrate Chandra Bhanu told IANS.

State excise officials were, however, in a fix over the loss of revenue that the closure of so many shops would entail. In the current financial year, the excise department had mopped up about Rs.2 billion ($50 million) from liquor shops in the state capital alone.

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