Cracking the whip on underage drinkers, the Haryana Excise department has barred people below 25 years, the legal drinking age, from hosting parties in bars and discotheques.
Officials, however, clarified that youth are allowed to enter these outlets for dining (but not for alcoholic drinks and beverages) in small groups or with their parents.
Last year on Christmas, a group of 85 school students were caught partying and consuming alcoholic beverages in a discotheque located in a leading city mall.
While the responsibility of implementing the directive would rest largely with the police department, officials beg to differ. DCP (East) Vikas Arora said about 10 police personnel had already been deputed with the excise department to take action against erring bar owners.
"Immediately after the December 25 incident, we had written to the excise department to delegate an inspector with our department to conduct raids, but we are yet to receive a response on this. We cannot go all over the city to ensure proper implementation of excise rules as it is primarily the duty of the excise department. We can only support them," Arora added. Bar and pub owners too have challenged the excise department decision, saying the licence conditions permitted entry of youths below 25 years to attend a party.
This comes as the second major decision after the Haryana excise department made it mandatory for all pub/bar and discotheque owners to put up a notice board at the gates stating that youths below the age of 25 years will not be served liquor. Anuraj Rastogi, director, excise department, said those below 25 years were not allowed to party at an outlet serving alcohol.