Cuttack, Jan 3:
The Odisha High Court has asked the state government to take a decision on eviction of liquor shops alongside the National Highway between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar in the next three months.
A division bench of the court comprising Chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice KK Rath issued the directive while hearing a writ petition filed by 15 liquor licence holders.
It may be mentioned that the office of the Excise Commissioner had issued a notification on August 21, 2013 on eviction of liquor shops constructed on private land alongside the National Highway-5 between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
However, challenging the notice, 15 liquor licence holders in a writ had appealed the High Court to cancel the notice.
They had argued that the state government has neither any rules for eviction of liquor shops constructed on private land, nor any guidelines on setting up of liquor shops at a specified distance from the National Highway.
The petitioners had also challenged the validity of the notice of the Excise Commissioner on behalf of the state government.
Alleging that the Excise Commissioner has served the notice on them with malafide intention, they informed the court that none of the district collectors has implemented the order of the Excise Commissioner in this regard.
The forcible closure would result in heavy loss of revenue, they pointed out.
The court, which reserved its order on December 9 after hearing the petition, issued the directive to the state government on Thursday.