The Supreme Court on Wednesday exempted Arunachal Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands from the ban on sale of liquor with a 500-metre range of highways.

Uttarakhand had also submitted a plea for relief from the liquor ban but SC have given the state government a week time to explain its stand. Uttarakhand had sought an exemption on the lines of Sikkim, by virtue of being a hilly state. The hearing has now been adjourned for a week.

The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar relaxed the cap while noting that almost 50% of the state revenue for Arunachal Pradesh came from the sale of liquor and 916 shops out of a total of 1,011 shops have been affected by the 500-metre cap.

In the previous hearings, the court had observed that denotification of highways within urban limits was acceptable and had rejected all other petition apart from the ones filed by different states.

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