In a relief to the liquor companies, the Supreme Court on Wednesday clarified that the nationwide ban on sale of alcohol within 500 meters of state and national highways does not apply within municipal limits.

Now with this SC order, the liquor shops that fall under the city limits but operate within 500 meters of a highway, can sell alcohol and also apply for their license renewal.

The order says there are no prohibitions on the establishments that are within municipal limits. The court issued the clarification to set at rest the ambiguity surrounding the matter.

“The purpose of the directions contained in the order dated December 15, 2016 is to deal with the sale of liquor along and in proximity of highways properly understood, which provide connectivity between cities, towns and villages,” the apex court said.

In April last year, the Supreme court had imposed a ban on sale of liquor within 500 metre from national and state highways. But with this new order, 85% of the bars and restaurants are expected to restart their business.