As you are aware ‘Liquor Vends in every nook and corner of Gurgaon’ have been causes of much resentment and bitterness among residents of Gurgaon. Through this letter, we bring to you a list of all liquor vends to which different residents (over 200 residents) have raised objections. The full list is enclosed with this letter.
Below is a summary of reasons for objections to liquor vends in public spaces like green belts and sides of roads:
1. Judgment dated 28 May 2012 in CWP 6766 of 2012 Amit Jain v. U.T. Chandigarh - Excerpts from the judgment (full judgment enclosed)
Alok Singh, Judge
Petitioners, who are the residents of different sectors of Chandigarh, have approached this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, assailing the actions of respondents No.1 to 3 thereby permitting the successful bidders to run liquor vends in prefabricated temporary structures and tavern along with liquor vends on the Government land allotted to them on the roadside near the roundabouts and red lights in different sectors in the city of Chandigarh. Present petition was entertained under the heading of Public Interest Litigation.
Respondent No.2- Department has granted lease/licence to the successful bidders along the roadside near the roundabouts and red lights in various sectors in the city of Chandigarh, wherein liquor vends along with tavern are being run causing traffic jam, drunken brawl and wrongful parking on the roadsides;
According to Mr. Mittal, taverns are not having sewerage connections, therefore, cannot have toilets and washrooms. They are being run in total violation of Excise Policy.
Hon'ble the Supreme Court in the case of The Municipal Board, Manglaur vs. Mahadeojit Maharaj, AIR 1965 SC 1147 has placed reliance on the observations made in the case of Harvey vs. Truro Rural District Council (1903) 2 Ch 638, which reads as under:
“In the case of an ordinary highway running between fences, although it may be of a varying and unequal width, the right of passage or way prima facie, and unless there be evidence to the contrary, extends to the whole space between the fences, and the public are entitled to the entire of it as the highway, and are not confined to the part which may be metalled or kept in order for the more convenient use of carriages and foot- passengers."
- Hon'ble the Supreme Court in the case of The Municipal Board (supra) has also approved the observations made in the case of Anukul Chandra vs. Dacca Dt. Board, AIR 1928 Cal 485, which reads as under:
“The expression "road" or "highway" has been considered in many cases in England and it seems that the CWP No.6766 of 2012 (O&M) -10- interpretation put there is not confined to the portion actually used by the public but it also extends to the side lands.”
The learned Judge applied the English view to the construction of the words "public street or road" in Article 146-A of the Limitation Act, and stated: "I am of opinion that "road" in that article includes the portion which is used as road as also the lands kept on two sides as parts of the road for the purposes of the road."
- In view of the Judgment of Hon'ble the Supreme Court (supra), we are satisfied that land which has been reserved for the expansion of the roads and slow carriage ways must be regarded as a part of the road and cannot be utilized for any other purpose whatsoever and grant of the lease on such land to open the liquor vends and tavern cannot be considered to be legal.
The above judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a case which is exactly similar to our own situation in Gurgaon of 'Liqour Vends in Green Belts' has made the law clear on the permissible utilization of Green Belts i.e. green belts can be used for the purpose of expansion of road. This judgment is binding on Gurgaon too and in accordance with this judgment Gurgaon administration should not allow liquor vends to operate from green belts.
There are a number of concerns, like safety, rise in drunken driving, parking menace and obstruction of smooth flow of traffic as these vends have no parking arrangements, spoiling of green belts, disregard of road side aesthetics etc. that Gurgaon residents regularly raise about these liquor vends.
Violation of the Urban Development Ministry August 1966 Norms/NCRPB Act, 1985 of T-1 Areas which include green belts along the arterial roads. There is a clear prohibition for all activities "not specifically permitted herein." While restaurants find mention, liquor vends do not find mention because on an arterial road food and water are essential but retail liquor vends are not essential. On 27 March 2012, the Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court has ordered that even security tents are not permitted in green belts along roads. DTCP in a 12 December 2008 affidavit to the High Court had submitted that green belts will not be used for any purpose except widening of roads in future. On the contrary, majority of liquor vends are in Green Belts across the city of Gurgaon.
Apart from these very real concerns, such liquor vends leave a very bad impression of the city administration, the city and state government which legalizes them at the cost of its residents.
We have been continuously hearing of the huge revenue that the Government earns by auctioning liquor vend licenses in Gurgaon and how this revenue is the motivation for issuing a large number of licenses. Below are some suggestions to balance the need of the govt. and of residents of Gurgaon:
- Home delivery of Liquor – just like the model of home delivery of food, a customer can place their order for liquor over phone. Liquor stock can be placed in a central warehouse and the order dispatched to the address of the customer. Many of the traffic issues that arise from customers buying liquor from a roadside vend will be taken care of.
- If much of the sales shift to the above model then the physical vends can be of much smaller size as the quantity of stock required at a vend will be less.
- Liquor vends be moved to commercial spaces like markets. This will also reduce instances of buyers buying liquor and drinking on the spot, which is the biggest cause for concern. In all major cities of India, liquor vends are placed in markets.
1. Memo No. A-7-2011UB-I9919-41 dated 18.03.2011 issued by Chief Adminstrator HUDA.pdf
2. Memo from Horticulture Division, Gurgaon to Estate Office, Gurgaon for removal of Wine Shops from Green Belts dated 27.12.2013 and 10.01.2013
Considering all the above, it is our foremost request that when licenses are issued for the year 2013-2014, liquor vends should not be allowed to operate from Green Belts, along roadsides and at traffic lights and roundabouts in Gurgaon.
Nisha Singh, Councilor MCG, Gurgaon
Latika Thukral, I am Gurgaon
Prabhat Agarwal, I am Gurgaon
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