HC to decide if drinking age in Delhi is high

Shiladitya Ray

HC to decide if drinking age in Delhi is high

26 May 2018: HC to decide if drinking age in Delhi is high

On Friday, the Delhi High Court sought a response from the AAP government in Delhi regarding a plea seeking to lower the legal drinking age from the current 25 years.

The plea claimed that the current legal drinking age discriminates against residents of Delhi as the drinking age in other states is much lower.

The next hearing on the matter is on October 9.

Details: The PIL challenges the Delhi Excise Act, 2009

A bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar sought to know the stand of Delhi government's excise department on PIL filed by Kush Kalra. It challenges Section 23 of the Delhi Excise Act, 2009, which governs drinking age.

A senior excise official said that the department would reply with answers substantiated by data.

Discriminatory?: The PIL makes its case against Delhi's drinking age

The PIL said that Delhi's drinking age is discriminatory because people coming to Delhi from states which have a lower legal drinking age, would continue drinking in Delhi, but would technically be breaking the law.

It added that 67% of people in the age group 18-25 years purchase alcohol from local vendors but are never asked for IDs, thus corroding people's respect for law.

Divided opinions: Police, experts are divided on the issue

Meanwhile, experts and police are divided.

For instance, Delhi Police traffic chief was of the opinion that since most crimes and accidents in the city happened under the influence of alcohol, a high drinking age was necessary.

On the other hand, road safety expert Mujit Amad, founder of NGO Safely, said that if voting and marriage are allowed at lower ages, so should be drinking.