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Regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Delhi High Court clears air over age of drinking

Lawyers said the Delhi act does not specify any minimum age for drinking

PTI New Delhi Published 26.09.19, 08:37 PM
It dismissed a petition that had sought the quashing of Section 23 of the act on the ground that it prescribed 25 years as the legal age for buying and drinking alcohol.

It dismissed a petition that had sought the quashing of Section 23 of the act on the ground that it prescribed 25 years as the legal age for buying and drinking alcohol. (Shutterstock)

The Delhi Excise Act does not prescribe 25 years as the minimum age for drinking, it merely prohibits liquor sales to people below that age, Delhi High Court ruled on Thursday.

It dismissed a petition that had sought the quashing of Section 23 of the act on the ground that it prescribed 25 years as the legal age for buying and drinking alcohol.

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“The age of drinking has nothing to do with the prohibition imposed by the Delhi government under the Excise Act. We see no reason to quash Section 23 of the act, which prohibits a licensee to sell or deliver liquor to a person of less than 25 years of age,” the bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar said.

Section 23 says: “No person or licensed vendor or his employee or agent shall sell or deliver any liquor to any person apparently under the age of 25 years, whether for consumption by self or others.”

The bench said: “The petitioner has assumed that it is the age of drinking. It is a wrong notion in the mind of petitioner.”

Lawyers said the Delhi act does not specify any minimum age for drinking.

Lawyer Kush Kalra, the petitioner, said the legal age for drinking was 21 in Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Telangana and Jharkhand, and 18 in Rajasthan, Sikkim and Puducherry. The bench said Delhi was not obliged to follow other states’ laws.

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