Delhi High Court admits plea to review legal age for buying alcohol

The Hush Post: The Delhi High Court has accepted a plea whereby the current legal age for drinking and buying liquor will be examined. At present, the current legal age for buying and drinking alcohol is 25 as per law.

The HC sought a reply from the Delhi government on the PIL which seeks quashing a portion mentioned in the Delhi excise Act as per which 25 year is the minimum age for drinking and buying alcohol.

Delhi High Court admits plea to review legal age for buying alcohol

Delhi High Court admits plea to review legal age for buying alcohol. -Photo courtesy Hindustan Times

A High Court Bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued a notice to the excise department of the government on the plea, which compared the legal age fixed in Delhi with lower drinking age prevalent in other states, a report said.

“A person coming to Delhi from a state which legalises drinking at 18 years is likely to continue consuming alcohol, thus criminalising his/her behaviour. On the other hand, young persons from Delhi traveling to states which have lower legal ages to consume alcohol raises the question how a person by moving his/her location becomes responsible,” the plea said.

The court forwarded the matter for next hearing in October. The PIL filed by lawyer Kush Kalra has sought quashing of Section 23 of Delhi Excise Act, 2009 which prescribes 25 years as the legal age of drinking in Delhi.

The plea also wants to know about the steps taken by the government in prohibiting and regulating the sale and supply of alcohol to persons under 25 years of age in the National Capital Territory, arguing that the authorities are unable to enforce the legal age.

Kalra informed the court that while the legal age for drinking in Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Telangana, and Jharkhand was 21, in Rajasthan and Puducherry it was 18 years. He also claimed that according to reports about 67 per cent of the population in the age group of 18-25 years purchased alcohol from liquor vends but are never asked for any age proof.

The PIL has sought directions to the Delhi government to conduct awareness programmes on consumption of alcohol among college and school students by including it in the curriculum rather than enforcing a legal age which cannot be imposed.


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