corporate laws – Excise laws – sale of liquor along and in the proximity of highways = the state governments would not be precluded from determining whether the principle which has been laid down by this Court in the order dated 11 July 2017 in Arrive Safe Society (supra) should also apply to areas covered by local selfgoverning bodies and statutory development authorities. We are inclined to allow the state governments to make this determination since it is a question of fact as to whether an area covered by a local self-governing body is proximate to a municipal agglomeration or is sufficiently developed as to warrant the application of the same principle. In deciding as to whether the principle which has been set down in the order dated 11 July 2017 should be extended to a local self-governing body (or statutory development authority) the state governments would take recourse to all relevant circumstances including the nature and extent of development in the area and the object underlying the direction prohibiting the sale of liquor on national and the state highways. The use of the expression ‘municipal areas’ in the order dated 11 July 2017 does not prevent the state governments from making that determination and from taking appropriate decisions consistent with the object of the orders passed by this Court. We leave it open to individual licensees to submit their representations to the competent authorities in the state governments if they are so advised upon which appropriate decisions may be taken by the state governments.

1

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

MA Nos 489-491/2018, 366-368/2018, 392-394/2018, 395-397/2018, 388-

390/2018, 1543-1545/2017, 1546-1548/2017

AND

1549-1551/2017

IN

CIVIL APPEAL NOS 12164-12166 OF 2016

THE STATE OF TAMIL NADU REP.BY SEC.

AND ORS ..Appellants

VERSUS

K. BALU AND ANR. ..Respondents

O R D E R

Dr. D Y CHANDRACHUD, J.

1 This batch of MAs/IAs arises from the judgment dated 15 December

2016 rendered by this Court in State of Tamil Nadu v K Balu1 and the

subsequent orders dated 31 March 2017 and 11 July 2017. The last of the

above orders was delivered in Arrive Safe Society of Chandigarh v The

Union Territory of Chandigarh 2

.

1 Civil Appeal 12164-12166/2016

2 Special Leave Petition (C) No.10243 of 2017

REPORTABLE

2

2 Though the reliefs which have been sought in the individual MAs/IAs

may differ, during the course of the hearing there is a broad consensus that for

the purpose of the present proceedings, it would be sufficient if this Court were

to interpret paragraph 7 of the order dated 11 July 2017. Paragraph 7 is

extracted below:

“7. The purpose of the directions contained in the order dated 15

December 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 order does not prohibit licensed

establishments within municipal areas. This clarification shall govern

other municipal areas as well. We have considered it appropriate to

issue this clarification to set at rest any ambiguity and to obviate

repeated recourse to IAs, before the Court.”

3 Learned counsel submitted that the expression ‘municipal areas’ in the

above paragraph was not intended to exclude areas within the jurisdiction of

local self-governing bodies. Many of them, it is urged, may be developed in a

manner similar to municipalities. Others, may be geographically proximate to

an urban agglomeration. Hence it was urged that an appropriate direction may

be issued to obviate uncertainties in application, occasioning the need for

repeated recourse to this Court or, as the case may be, litigation in the High

Courts.

4 The application has been opposed by one of the contesting intervenors

who placed reliance on the decisions of this Court in APSRTC v Abdul

Kareem3

and Cine Exhibitions Private Limited v Collector, District

3 (2007) 2 SCC 466

3

Gwalior4

. It has been urged that an application for modification or clarification

of a judgment would fall within the realm of a review and hence the present

applications would not be maintainable.

5 Dealing with the above objection, the learned counsel appearing on

behalf of the applicants submit that they seek neither a review nor a

modification of the orders passed by this Court. The attention of the Court

was drawn to an order dated 13 December 2017 passed by this Court in Writ

Petition (C) Nos 964/2017 and 1050/2017 in the following terms:

“Having heard learned counsel for the parties, we think it appropriate to

direct that each of the petitioners shall submit a representation within

three weeks hence, stating that they are entitled to be governed by the

principle as applicable to the municipal areas/MIDC developed areas.

The individual facts shall be mentioned in each representation. The

same shall be considered by the competent authority and decided,

keeping in view the judgments of this Court, preferably within four weeks

from the date of receipt of the representation. Needless to say, the

representation shall be decided by ascribing reasons and recording a

finding. If the petitioners are aggrieved, they can approach this Court.

With the aforesaid directions and liberty, the writ petitions stand

disposed of. “

The submission is that it will suffice if permission is granted to the state

governments to determine whether the applicants and similarly placed

individuals are governed by the principle which was laid down by this Court in

relation to municipal areas.

6 In Cine Exhibitions Private Limited (supra) a bench of two learned

Judges comprising of Justice KSP Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra,

(as the learned Chief Justice then was) held thus:

4 (2012) 6 SCC 698

4

“Generally an application for correction of a typographical error or

omission of a word, etc. in a judgment or order would lie, but a petition

which is intended to review an order or judgment under Order 47 Rule 1

of the Code of Civil Procedure and in criminal proceedings except on the

ground of an error apparent on the face of the record, could not be

achieved by filing an application for clarification/modification/recall or

rehearing, for which a properly constituted review is the remedy. (Id at

page 703-704)”

In the present proceedings neither is the Court called upon to review its

judgment nor to modify its orders. In fact reliance has been placed on the

orders passed by this Court on 11 July 2017 in Arrive Safe Society(supra)

and subsequently in Hotel Sonai Beer Bar and Permit Room v State of

Maharashtra5

and the connected writ petitions referred to earlier.

7 In the order passed by this Court on 11 July 2017, it was observed that

the purpose of the directions contained in the order dated 15 December 2016

is to deal with the sale of liquor along and in the proximity of highways

properly understood, which provide connectivity between cities, towns and

villages. Having regard to this object it was noted that the order does not

prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas. Indeed, in order to

ensure that the order is uniformly understood across the country, this Court

clarified that it will govern other municipal areas as well. In the subsequent

order of this Court dated 13 December 2017, liberty has been granted to the

licence holders to submit a representation to the state government that the

same principle should apply to the licensed establishments of the petitioners,

as they apply to municipal areas/MIDC developed areas (in relation to the

5 Special Leave Petition (C) No 19845/2017

5

State of Maharashtra).

8 Having regard to these directions, we are of the view that the state

governments would not be precluded from determining whether the principle

which has been laid down by this Court in the order dated 11 July 2017 in

Arrive Safe Society (supra) should also apply to areas covered by local selfgoverning

bodies and statutory development authorities. We are inclined to

allow the state governments to make this determination since it is a question

of fact as to whether an area covered by a local self-governing body is

proximate to a municipal agglomeration or is sufficiently developed as to

warrant the application of the same principle. In deciding as to whether the

principle which has been set down in the order dated 11 July 2017 should be

extended to a local self-governing body (or statutory development authority)

the state governments would take recourse to all relevant circumstances

including the nature and extent of development in the area and the object

underlying the direction prohibiting the sale of liquor on national and the state

highways. The use of the expression ‘municipal areas’ in the order dated 11

July 2017 does not prevent the state governments from making that

determination and from taking appropriate decisions consistent with the object

of the orders passed by this Court. We leave it open to individual licensees

to submit their representations to the competent authorities in the state

governments if they are so advised upon which appropriate decisions may be

taken by the state governments. We have issued this general direction to

6

obviate both litigation before the High Courts and repeated recourse to

applications to this Court.

9 With the above observations, the MAs/IAs shall stand disposed of.

………………………………………CJI

[DIPAK MISRA]

…………………………………………J

[AMITAVA ROY]

…………………………………………..J

[Dr D Y CHANDRACHUD]

New Delhi;

February 23, 2018.