In a major development to the liquor ban issue, the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved it's order banning liquor within 500 metre distance from state and national highways.

The top court heard a batch of petitions that seek to modify its December 2016 order banning liquor outlets within 500 metres of state and national highways across the country.

States such as Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab, Telangana and Haryana had earlier told the apex court that 500-metre distance is much higher and should be reduced. Reacting to the states' pleas, the apex court reiterated that life is more important than liquor.

The top court in its December 15, 2016 order had ruled that licenses of existing shops along national and state highways will not be renewed after March 31.

Several associations across states challenged the top court through petitions.

On March23, the Tamil Nadu government had also moved the top court to extend the time for relocation of retail liquor shops along the highways.

On January18, the All Assam Indian Made Foreign Liquors Retailers' Association had approached the apex court seeking modification of the judgment.