Petition claims new excise policy aims to lower drinking age

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Delhi government to respond to a petition challenging a provision in the new Excise Policy, claiming it seeks to reduce the age of consumption of liquor from 25 to 21.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Jyoti Singh issued notice on the petition, which has also sought to quash a provision in the new Excise Policy that there shall be no government-owned liquor vends and only privately-owned vends.

Vulnerable strata

NGO All India Bhrashtachar Virodhi Morcha, in its plea, said there is an opinion among a lot of people that reducing the age of consumption of liquor will increase alcoholism amongst students and younger generation of the society, leading to other consequent problems and the decision to close government vends is not in public interest.

The minimum age of consumption of liquor in Delhi is 25 years, but in the neighbouring States of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, it is 25 and 21 respectively. The plea claimed that the Delhi government is effectively seeking to reduce the minimum age of consumption of liquor from 25 to 21 years, as is the case in neighbouring State of Uttar Pradesh.

The petitioner said Article 47 of the Constitution states that the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of consumption of intoxicating drinks, except for medicinal purposes, which are injurious to health.

It said the consumers of liquor will also be affected as they are assured about the quality of alcohol when they purchase it from the government vends and this assurance would not be there in case of private vends.

Several petitions have been filed in the High Court challenging the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 alleging that it was illegal, unfair, arbitrary and violative of the Delhi Excise Act, 2009.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 6:15:33 AM |

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