Striking down a law framed in 1914, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed women bartenders to serve liquor in Delhi’s restaurants and reduced the age of bartenders from 25 to 21 years.
The Delhi Government sought to justify the existing provision’s validity by citing examples of Jessica Lal and the BMW crash cases. The bench replied: “…But only a pre-supposition that there is a possibility of some incidents happening, we cannot declare a law legal which is on the face of it unconstitutional.”
On the argument that women bartenders can lead to security problems, the judges added: “It is state’s duty to ensure circumstances of safety that inspire confidence in women to discharge the duty freely…”
The order has put the Delhi Government and the Delhi Police in a fix. Excise Minister AK Walia refused to comment on the issue. A Delhi Police officer said, “Owners and managers of these places have to ensure safety of their women employees.”