Soon, you will be able to pick up a bottle of your favourite liquor from your neighbourhood mall. But if you were planning to drink in your car — give up the thought.
Doing so will leave you poorer by Rs 5,000. At present, drinking in public attracts a fine of Rs 200.
Most penalties levied on drunken behaviour are based on the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, that is effect in Delhi at present.
The Delhi Excise Bill aims to make fines and penalties deterrent enough. The Bill will be placed in the Delhi assembly in its winter session.
And if you are one of those who get a little unmanageable after a drink, be careful. You could get both a prison term up to three months and a Rs 10,000 fine for creating public nuisance.
For any owner of a liquor joint — whether a bar, theka (roadside liquor vend) or night club — who allows drunken behaviour or allows anti-social elements to gather at his establishment — the penalty is even more stringent.
The owner would attract a prison term up to six months and a fine of up to Rs 50,000.
“We have to be careful about public law and order. We are allowing the sale of liquor in malls, but that requires more stringent measures for curbing drinking in public,” said Delhi finance minister AK Walia.
“People should not feel they could just buy liquor from a mall and drink anywhere.”
The Delhi Cabinet had approved a new excise policy last week that allowed sale of liquor in malls.
Cities like Bangalore have allowed sale of liquor from malls and general stores for almost a decade now.
“We are allowing sale of liquor from stores or malls with over 1,000 square feet area,” Walia said. “More liquor vends are being allowed keeping mind the upcoming Commonwealth Games and influx of visitors from overseas.”