Alcohol laws in Maharashtra could drive you to drink

Muddled, disorganised and confused—that’s not your brain after you have had one too many; that’s the state of the law that regulates consumption of alcohol

Did you know why your favourite watering hole is called a ‘permit’ room? That’s because Maharashtra requires you to posses a liquor permit if you want to consume alcohol. What’s more, if you want to transport alcohol of any kind, you require a permit.

This 'requirement' is a classic case of a rule which is almost always breached, but has always existed in the statute books. The charade gets worse: The permissible drinking age is 25, according to the law, but various bars, pubs and ‘wine’ shops (as they are so called) have notices proclaiming that alcohol will not be sold to anyone below the age of 21.

The point is, why does the State have such an absurd policy like a 'permit' system under an archaic law like the Bombay Prohibition Act (1949)? According to this Act, purchasing and drinking alcohol without a permit is an 'offence.' The Act is clearly spelt out on a Maharashtra government official website: http://mumbaicity.gov.in/htmldocs/liquor.htm.

Reports have been appearing in sections of the media that the permitted age for drinking will now be ‘increased’ to 25. But, according to the Act, this age stipulation already exists.

“There is no question of an amendment (to the law), because there is already an Act all along telling us that the age limit for drinking is 25 years,” said consumer activist and lawyer Jehangir Gai.

For the record, a liquor permit can be obtained for Rs25 (one year) and Rs75 (for three years). Permits can be obtained immediately on submission of application, says the government’s website. 

There are various penalties under the Act, which even include imprisonment up to five years or a fine which can go up to Rs50,000.

“The officials cannot enforce the law, and they are not really inclined to do so,” said a bar owner, who obviously preferred anonymity.

So why have such a rule in the first place? If the Act is not being enforced and is being flouted by all and sundry, isn’t it time the State repealed it?
 

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    COMMENTS

    Shadi Katyal

    9 years ago

    The permit is for foreign liquor as stated in the so called act. This act was created to collect revenue and some pocket money for babus. But this is nothing new in India.There were no alcohol days even in the capital but as a foreigner one could buy on any given day but the management refuse to serve an Indian guest, was a rule at one time.
    So What is new ?

    Coke and the art of losing customers

    It sponsors teams, spends billions (of dollars) on advertising and is probably the world’s most well-known brand. But Coca-Cola seems to have forgotten what it takes to service a customer. What’s worse, Coke prefers to maintain a deafening silence—and enter a state of denial—when confronted with what is a major slip-up at its end

    The next time you have a strong urge to down a bottle of Coke, do make it a point to hold up the bottle (as you would do with a Rs1,000 note) and examine it minutely to see if it contains any insect life.

    On 7th April, your correspondent gulped down an insect or two from a 200-ml Coca-Cola bottle.

    (Please see : http://www.moneylife.in/article/8/4652.html).

    You would imagine that the soft-drink multinational would have taken prompt action—at least an apology over the telephone—for what obviously is a major slip-up at its end, which could have had potentially hazardous ramifications.

    But Coca-Cola India feels that an apology to a customer would be stooping too low. It has told Moneylife that it wants our article (see above link) pulled out.

    Since the numerous executives who are ‘in charge of customer service’ for the multinational’s operations in India have failed to respond in a satisfactory manner, we even went to the extent of contacting its Atlanta headquarters.

    But the deafening silence continues from Coke’s end.

    Coca-Cola India now wants to ‘inspect’ the bottle with insects floating around in it. An executive from its public relations department (Amit Govind) has told Moneylife that Coke wants to ‘scrutinise’ the bottle.

    We’ll keep you posted on what happens after Coke’s sleuth inspects the bottle.

    So the next time you want to enjoy the ‘real thing’, do ensure that a Coke executive is around before the bottle is uncorked. If you have some flora and fauna floating around in the liquid, the soft-drink major will have all the ‘proof’ it needs to take any further action—if it chooses to do so, of course.  

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    COMMENTS

    Zanil Hyder

    10 years ago

    It was interesting to read this article.

    I have had multiple experiences which i would compare to be similar to the above mentioned.

    Luckily you are able to expose it with a blog, I have tried it on my blog but there are no readers to expose it.

    I have come across a racket in Telecom recently, i wish to drag them to court, but i am unable to.

    http://blog.zanilhyder.info/2010/02/electronic-cheating-deceit-by-telecom-companies/

    defiant attitude by the companies seems to be the PR strategy these days.

    KUMAR

    10 years ago

    ALL MNCs IN INDIA ARE THERE TO SUCK MONEY! BUT THEY OPERATE WITH THE SAME DAMNED LOUSY INDIAN MENTALITY! NOT THEIR FAULT! IT IS THE LOUSY INDIANS WHO RUN THE SHOW! THEIR BOSSES WANT ONLY THE FAT BOTTOMLINES!

    PEPSI IS EVEN WORSE THAN COKE! IN THE SODA WE BOUGHT, HORRIBLE CARBONATED CHLORINE/BLEACHING POWDER SMELL & FLAVOR WERE THERE.

    WRITING TO THE INDIAN HQ WAS LIKE WRITING TO GOVT. OF INDIA! WE HAD TO WRITE TO THEIR INT'L HQ WHERE INDRA NOOYI SITS! ONLY THEN SOME MINIONS BOTHERED TO CALL & TOOK SEVERAL MONTHS BEFORE THEY MADE SOME PALTRY COMPENSATION!

    SAARE JAHAN SE ACHHA HINDUSTAN HAMARA!! MY FOOT!

    DelhiBelly

    10 years ago

    Maybe this link appended below will explain why Coke is not really concerned about a few more insects in their oncological delight. It will also explain why Coke/CocaCola and other 'soft drinks" are not really vegetarian, and also do not qualify for the "green dot" required for all veg food products in India.



    http://farsuna.com/en/news.php?id=2949

    Coca-Cola has disclosed that the famous drink natural dye carmine which is derived from dried cells of Cochineal (Dactylopius coccus), a scale insect or primarily sessile parasite living on cacti from the genus Opuntia in tropical and subtropical South America and Mexico.

    The insect produces carminic acid which deters predation by other insects. Carminic acid can be extracted from the insect’s body and eggs to make carmine dye. Carmine is primarily used as a fabrics colouring and for cosmetics.

    Good work. We need to work together to see that MNCs like Coke start respecting India as a Nation, and not as a "market".

    Launch of Moneylife Knowledge Centre

    It was a special occasion for all at Moneylife Foundation on 5 February 2010 when the Moneylife Knowledge Centre was launched at the hands of Sanjay Nirupam, member of Parliament, who graciously accepted our invitation to be the chief guest at the event despite it being his birthday. The Moneylife Knowledge Centre, set up by the Moneylife Foundation in Mumbai, will supplement the efforts of...

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