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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Lounge bar in dock for serving liquor to underage students in Chandigarh

Excise rules were flouted during an unofficial freshers’ party organised by a student outfit ahead of Panjab University elections

cities Updated: Aug 29, 2019 00:56 IST
Srishti Jaswal
Srishti Jaswal

The UT excise and taxation department — taking cognisance of the Hindustan Times report on liquor served to underage college students during a freshers’ party on August 27 — will issue a show-cause notice to the lounge bar Ministry of Bar Exchange (MOBE) located at Elante Mall. 

“The notice will be served on August 29. A week’s time will be given to the establishment to respond to it. If found guilty, penalty can be imposed on it or even the licence to serve liquor can be cancelled,” said RK Chaudhary, assistant commissioner, excise and taxation, UT.   

On the day Panjab University announced the date for student elections on the campus and at its 11 affiliated colleges in the city, the Student Organisation of India (SOI)’s unit of Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharma (GGDSD) College, Sector 32, organised an unofficial freshers’ party at the high-end lounge bar. Students below the age of 25 could be seen consuming alcoholic beverages in violation of the excise rules governing the legal age of drinking.

On Wednesday, too, two such parties were organised in the city. Teams of the excise department inspected both the venues, but “didn’t discover any violation of the excise rules”.

While the SOI unit of DAV College, Sector 10, organised the party at MOBE, Sanatan Dharma College Union (SDCU) held it at Tamzaraa Kafe and Club in the Industrial Area, Phase 1. The rate of passes for both parties was fixed at ₹300, with unlimited snacks and soft drinks. Punjabi singers were also invited to entertain the students.

Violation of poll code

Even as the excise rules were not flouted, the parties amount to violation of Lyngdoh guidelines for the conduct of elections, said a DAV College teacher.

The poll code clearly states that “all candidates shall be prohibited from indulging or abetting all activities, which are considered to be “corrupt practices”, and offences, such as bribing of voters”.

According to sources, ₹1.5 lakh were spent on the SOI party, attended by 500 students, while ₹2 lakh were spent on the SDCU party, where around 1,000 students turned up.

The Lyngdoh guidelines clearly state that “the maximum permitted expenditure per candidate shall be ₹5,000”.

Instructions issued

Following the HT report, GGDSD College issued instructions to all student parties on Wednesday. They have been warned that any kind of serious violation will be reported to police, and “strict action will be taken against the defaulters leading to disqualification”.

The candidates have been asked to strictly follow the expenditure norms and deposit the account details to dean of students’ welfare (DSW) Ajay Sharma.

“Even as the Tuesday party took place outside the college, we have taken a serious note of it,” said principal Dr Balraj Thapar.

Meanwhile, Kiran Hooda, DSW, DAV College, said: “According to election guidelines, expenditure limit is important. We will take action if any candidate is found spending more than the prescribed limit.”

First Published: Aug 29, 2019 00:56 IST

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