High on the recent success of public interest litigations (PIL) in Indian courts, two elderly gents took one of their own to the Delhi High Court recently, only to have the fizz taken out of their request. The court took strong exception to their demand that the Delhi Police Act, which bans bars from serving liquor after 1 am, be synchronised with excise rules that permit the fun to flow round-the-clock. Taking up cudgels on behalf of a ‘westernised’ youth, the men wanted the court to have pity on the globalised economy’s stressed-out minions and allow them to drown a hard day’s troubles in their daily tipple.
Now it can be debated whether the men were acting in supreme public interest or merely going public with their own self-interest, but the judges took serious exception to the request, dismissing the petition and fining the wannabe revellers Rs 10,000 for their troubles. One can’t blame them, since the courts have, in the past, declared that almost 95 per cent of PILs placed before them are frivolous. The Delhi HC’s anger at entertaining the same stems not just from having to deal with bizarre requests from eager litigants but also from the apex court’s instructions to filter out bogus petitions.
So it seems that the Capital’s citizens might not be able to rock around the clock anytime soon and will continue to be ‘unceremoniously’ kicked out of their favourite watering holes after 1 am. Still, all those of you, who were waiting to pop open the champagne at five in the morning, take heart. For isn’t it good to know that it’s not just the young who want to have a spot of fun?