Delhi HC clarifies issue of Minimum Age for drinking Liquor in Delhi

Team SoOLEGAL 27 Sep 2019 1:50pm

Delhi HC clarifies issue of Minimum Age for drinking Liquor in Delhi

A Division-Bench of Delhi High Court comprising of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar on Thursday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking to set aside and quash Section 23 of the Delhi Excise Act, 2009 because it prescribes 25 years as a legal drinking age in Delhi.

The petition was filed lawyer Kush Kalra on the ground that there the Delhi Government was discriminating the youth in Delhi as in several other states, the legal drinking age is far less as compared to Delhi. The legal drinking age in most of the other states was either 18 or 21.

The petitioner further mentioned that there was no reason provided by the Govt. As to why the minimum age for consuming alcohol is prescribed as 25 years and the said fact increases the risk of sale of alcohol in Delhi in an unlawful manner.

The Court observed that Section 23 of the Delhi Excise Act does not impose a legal drinking age of 25 years in Delhi but it only provides that service or delivery of alcohol to persons under 25 years of age is prohibited.

The Court said that: “the petitioner has assumed that it is the age of drinking as prescribed in Section 23. We see no reason to quash the said section. There is no substance in the petition and therefore, it is dismissed.”

The plea also sought to inquire as to what steps had the Delhi Govt. Taken towards prohibiting and regulating the sale and supply of alcohol to persons under the age of 25 years in Delhi, to which the bench stated that it did not see any reason to interfere in the said the section as it is a policy decision of the Delhi Govt.

The bench further opined that it is not obligatory on Government of Delhi to follow what is prescribed by other States. The age of drinking has nothing to do with prohibition imposed by Delhi Government under the Exercise Act.

Tagged: Delhi HC   Delhi Excise Act   Section 23   Minimum age for drinking liquor in Delhi  
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