The police on Monday booked Royalty club in Bandra (west) for serving liquor to the six youngsters — involved in the drink-driving accident at Juhu — below the permissible age for alcohol purchase and consumption. The club has breached its licence, the Santacruz police said.
“The manager of Royalty has been booked under section 83 of the Act for breach of a condition of the licence,” said assistant inspector N Khatar of Santacruz police station. “We will send our report to the commissioner’s office and they will take a call about whether the licence will be suspended.”
Madhukar Chowdhary, senior police inspector of Santacruz police station, confirmed that the club has been booked.
A case has also been registered against the six youngsters for allegedly drinking without valid permits. Of the six friends, one girl, Shivani Rawat, died, while two others are critical.
The youngsters have been booked under section 661B of the Bombay Prohibition Act for drinking without valid permits, said assistant inspector N Khatar of Santacruz police station. The section calls for up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of Rs10,000.
Club officials claimed the six youngsters had not visited Royalty. “Each person who visits the club has to make an entry with his name, cellphone number and other details. The records of the past four days show no entries made under their names,” said a club official, requesting anonymity.
The club official booked in the case will face imprisonment of up to five years and/or fine up to Rs 50,000, if found guilty.
The police have recorded the statement of a person who witnessed the crash. “The car was going at high speed. I turned to look as the car zipped past me when suddenly it smashed into a tree, spun around, hit the divider and crashed into an auto,” Kundanani told the police. “We pulled the driver and the passengers out one by one.”
Nobody bothers about alcohol permits
You require valid permits to buy and to drink alcohol as per the law, but most people not only don’t have these permits, many don’t even know they need them.
“It is mandatory for everyone to have valid permits if they want to buy or consume alcohol. But how many people have such permits? And how many alcohol sellers ask for these permits? Flouting these rules are serious offences under the Bombay Prohibition Act and can have grave repercussions on both the buyer and the seller,” said Brijesh Singh, additional commissioner of police (traffic).
As per the Act, any person buying alcohol without a valid permit is punishable under section 661B, which section calls for imprisonment extendable up to six months and/or a fine of Rs10,000, the police said.
The alcohol seller can be booked under section 83 of the Act for a breach of a condition of the licence issued to them, which states that they cannot sell alcohol to people without permits. The accused can face an imprisonment of up to five years and/or a fine of up to Rs50,000.
Nishant Sodhi, 25, a businessman, said: “I have never been asked for a permit or even proof of age when I buy alcohol from a wine shop or when I am drinking at a pub.”
Dr PS Pasricha, former director general of police (Maharashtra), said that ensuring that the crime is averted requires a three-pronged approach. “The laws must be made more stringent so people are scared to break them; enforcement must be stricter; and people should be made aware of the consequences of such violations,” said Pasricha.