PIL in HC: Bar all age restrictions but one (21) for alcohol consumption

Apr 21, 2017, 09:23 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

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Did you know Maharashtra is the only state that has three different age restrictions for consumption of alcoholic drinks? Now, a doctor from KEM hospital has taken it upon himself to get this simplified. He has filed a PIL with Bombay High Court and on Thursday started the online petition on Change.org.

Also read: Mumbai Police to crack down on bars that serve alcohol to minors

Dr Sagar Mundada, a psychiatrist at KEM hospital, and Youth Wing Chairman IMA (Maharashtra), argued that the state has an irrational law on consumption of alcohol in terms of permissible age. He has also demanded specifying 21 years and over as the official age when one is legally allowed to drink alcohol in the state.

Dr Yusuf Matcheswalla said, "If one imposes unnecessary restrictions then people won't follow them. How can one accept that a person will consume alcohol rich drinks only after the age of 25? If a person can get his voting rights at the age of 18, then why would he be given drinking rights only after 25? This only leads to corruption and vexatious practises," he said.

However, Excise Department officials cite that there are only two age restrictions. "After age 21 people can drink beer, and after 25, they can drink hard drinks. This was done for the safety of the youths who often start drinking at an early age. However, wine is excluded as it contains limited amount of alcohol," said a senior excise officer.

Pradeep Pawar, deputy commissioner, Excise Department said, "Wine was given exemption as it has only 5% alcohol level. However, in strong beers, alcohol is very high."

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