Areas within five kilometres of the Palghar district border, like Kashimira and parts of Mira Road will remain dry for 48 hours, Saturday evening onward, for the bypoll to the Palghar Lok Sabha seat.

Liquor will also not be available in these areas on the counting day – May 31, as Bombay high court on Friday refused to interfere with the Thane collector’s order keeping liquor shops and bars in these areas closed on the three days.

A vacation bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice AS Gadkari adjourned the petition filed by Kashimira Hospitality and Entertainment Association for further hearing on June 4.

The Thane collector issued an order on May 19 directing all liquor shops and establishments within five kilometres from the border of Palghar district to remain closed from 6pm on May 26 till the completion of the polling process on May 28. The shops and establishments are again ordered to remain closed till the completion of counting on May 31.

The association had approached the high court in order to challenge the district collector’s order saying Rule 9(A)(C)(2) of the Maharashtra Foreign Liquor (Sale on Cash, Register of Sales etc.) Rules, 1969, empower the authorities to close liquor shops and establishments in the constituency where elections or by-elections are being held.

The association contended that the same power cannot be used to close down liquor shops and establishments in areas falling outside such constituency, as in this case the by-polls are being held in Palghar district, but hundreds of liquor shops from the Thane district have been ordered to be closed.

The contention, however, failed to impress upon the vacation bench, which refused to interfere with the decision of the district collector.


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