Updated: March 23, 2021 4:40:24 am
SIGNALLING KEY changes in the Delhi government’s liquor policy, AAP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Monday that the legal age for consumption of alcohol will be reduced to 21 years from 25 — “on a par”, he pointed out, with neighbouring BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh.
Sisodia also announced “age gating”, a system in which those under the age of 21 will not be allowed to enter establishments, including restaurants, that serve alcohol unless they are “supervised”. Officials said rules “will be finalised soon to decide who, other than parents, will be allowed to supervise them.
“The permissible age for liquor consumption in different states is different and this issue has been raised several times. It is higher in Delhi as compared to that in Uttar Pradesh. The Group of Ministers recommended that the age of liquor consumption be brought on a par with Uttar Pradesh,” Sisodia said.
Sources said the reference to UP was “deliberate” to avoid “unnecessary criticism by BJP”.
Sisodia said the new policy is based on about 14,700 comments received as feedback to the draft policy prepared by an expert group last year and put up online. Consultations were subsequently held by a Group of Ministers, which presented its final recommendations to the Cabinet Monday. Experts said it will take up to three months to notify the new policy.
Senior government officials told The Indian Express that the Delhi Excise Act will have to be amended to change the legal drinking age to 21. At present, the Act states: “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.”
A decrease in legal drinking age has been in the works in Delhi for several years, with policy experts pointing out that the higher limit is rarely implemented and only leads to harassment.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.