Months after a rave party was busted at the Oakwood Premier Hotel in Juhu in May, wherein several partygoers present at the venue were booked under the Bombay Prohibition Act of 1949 for drinking without permit, some of the restaurant and bar owners are now trying to make life easier for their customers.
Meldan D’Cunha, owner of Soul Fry Casa in Fort, is one among the few who have started the service of helping customers procure a lifetime drinking permit. “We have kept forms at the counter and anybody who wants to get a lifetime permit can submit their photographs and identity proof to us. We have an agent who will do it for the customers and they will be charged a little extra for the service,” said D’Cunha.
Earlier, the restaurant would offer free one-day drinking permits to its customers. “It is just a gesture of help. We do not want our patrons to face any problem. Hence the lifetime permit, which costs just Rs 1,000, should be made available to our patrons,” he said. Lagerbay Restaurant at Waterfield Road in Bandra is also providing its patrons with a similar service. “Before becoming the owner of Lagerbay I used to work with Zenzi group as a licensing director. In the past, I had done licencing for a lot of bars. Then why not help our guests in procuring liquor licence,” Lagerbay owner Ramesh Dhabholkar asked.
“This was needed. It is good that bars have taken the initiative, as many would then purchase lifetime drinking permits. One should keep the permit while buying or drinking liquor,” a senior excise official said.
“We don’t mind paying some extra money rather than falling into trouble and pay a huge sum. Though this is an outdated norm, we have to follow it. It is good that bars are doing this,” Vishwas Mangeshkar, a Sion resident, said.
Did you know?
The norm: Rule 70-D of Bombay Foreign liquor Rules, 1953, issued under the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949, states that anyone who desires to purchase foreign or country liquor for possession, transport, use and consumption shall apply for a permit.
Where to get them: Drinking permit can be obtained from the concerned ward office (excise) or one can also go to the excise head office at Old Custom House, Fort.
How much does it cost? One-day permit (available at all bars, pub, wine shops and hotel): Rs 5 for Indian-manufactured foreign liquor or IMFL, and Rs 2 for country liquor
One-year permit: Rs 100
Lifetime permit: Rs 1,000
Documents required: Firstly, you need to be over 25 years of age. If you fit the age criteria, you then need to submit your identity proof along with two photographs, to get the one-year or lifetime permit. They are given immediately on submission of the application.
Penalty: Drinking without permit is a cognisable and bailable offence. There are various penalties depending on the circumstances and factors, like the quantity of liquor involved. The offence can attract a maximum fine of Rs 50,000 and imprisonment up to five years.