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Thursday, 6 April 2017

Hotels Federation (FHRAI) considering filing new petition in SC for review of Liquor Ban



The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI) is considering to file a review petition on Supreme Court's order of banning sale of liquor within 500 metres of highways across the country from March 31.

Pradeep Shetty, member of FHRAI's legal committee, said, "We are considering filing a review petition on the matter. We believe we can have a better hearing now. Previously, we didn't get enough time for the hearing and we feel we were caught in the crossfire of liquor associations."

Members of western states such as Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, and union territory of Daman and Diu met to take stock of the matter.

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Diu saw a bandh on Monday, with 7,000 people participating in the protest. In Diu, 100 bar licensee holders have been affected due to the ban and the confusion because of a district road which got notified as a highway in 2014.

Yatin Fugro, representative of the local Diu Hotels Association, said, "We were told a major district road got notified as a highway in 2014 and no one was aware of this including our district magistrate. The fight is against the national highway and not just the liquor ban in Diu."

Riyaaz Amlani, president of the National Restaurant Association of India, said states such as Delhi and Haryana have started the process of measuring the distance between highways and hotels.
Manbir Chaudhary, President, Hotels and Restaurant Association of Haryana, said, "We met the Haryana government officials yesterday and they have agreed to consider the motorable distance for measuring the distance between highways and hotels. The process is on. There are 194 bar licensees across Haryana in 22 districts."

Industry experts said the measurement procedure, which will be state specific, can lead to a series of litigation disputes in high courts.

Shetty said, "I can foresee about 50-100 new litigation disputes in high courts as a result of this measurement parameters, which could be different in each state. Parameters could vary depending on how the distance will be measured and from where." Aashish Gupta, EO of the Federa consultant CEO of the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality, said the process of measuring the distance is on in certain states and the federation has requested that motorable distance be taken into account. Industry associations are meeting various state officials, he said.