Imran Khan insists that his decision to file a public interest litigation (PIL) against the Maharashtra government wasn’t a gimmick to promote Delhi Belly. In June, the government had announced a plan to raise the legal age for alcohol consumption to 25 years from 21. Khan says, "I’ll give more details about the progress in a week."
Ask why he hasn’t filed the PIL yet and the actor replies, "Back then, I was busy with film promotions." But wouldn’t his lawyers be doing the legwork anyway? He says, "There has been an interesting development in the past ten days, which I will share a week from now." Khan used the Right To Information Act (RTI) to find out more details on the policy: "I had filed an RTI three and a half weeks ago and I’m expecting a reply in the next few days."
The Mere Brother Ki Dulhan actor admits that he initially thought his US citizenship would disqualify him from moving court, but has now found out that his "nationality will not be a deterrent." Explaining his point of view on the issue, Imran says, "In 2001, they raised the legal drinking age to 25, but it was not enforced, and everyone forgot about it. Again this year, they said ‘let’s make the drinking age 25’. But there’s a grey area on whether it’s in effect or not. And if it isn’t, then the PIL is not needed."
Know your law
On June 2 this year, the Maharashtra government raised the legal drinking age from 21 to 25 years. The state cabinet had cleared the proposal under the new de-addiction policy. According to this proposal, citizens have to wait till they turn 25 to consume any alcoholic beverage apart from wine and beer.
A violation of this policy invites heavy penalty and imprisonment up to six months, but the law has rarely been implemented. Its enforcement comes under the Excise Department. Under the new policy, a regulatory body headed by the Chief Minister will review the policy every two months and amend it if needed.