New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed a PIL seeking to quash section 23 of Delhi Excise Act, 2009. According to this act, the prescribed legal age of drinking in Delhi is 25 years. The PIL was moved by advocate Kush Kalra who wanted the legal drinking age to be less than 25 years.
In the plea, Kalra showed his objection on the disparity in the legal age of drinking in different states. He had mentioned that the legal age to drink in Goa, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand is 21, whereas it is 18 years in the states of Rajasthan and Puducherry.
The plea reads, ‘A person coming to Delhi from a state which legalises drinking at the age of 18 years is likely to continue consuming alcohol thus criminalizing their behaviour. On the other hand, young persons from Delhi travel to states which have lower legal ages to consume alcohol which raises the question of how a person by moving his/her location becomes responsible.’
Showing his concern, Kalra also said that he seeks the answer about the steps that Delhi government has taken in order to prohibit and regulate the sale and supply of alcohol to people under the age of 25 years in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Kalra also mentioned about some report stating that 67 per cent of the population belonging to the age group of 18 to 25 years purchase alcohol directly but are never asked for their age proof despite the same being mandatory under law.
This actually hints that awareness programmes should be conducted by the Delhi government to make people aware and responsible about consuming alcohol. The legal age and the side-effects of having alcohol should be mentioned in the curriculum of school-going students.