HC refuses to stay order raising liquor consuming age

Refusing to stay a notification increasing the legal age limit to consume liquor from 21 to 25 years, Bombay HC directed the Maharashtra government Thursday to file a reply to a PIL filed by actor Imran Khan.

A division bench of justices Mohit Shah and A V Mohta said the matter required consideration and hence, it could not grant stay on the September 2009 notification.

"The state government shall file its reply by April 15," the bench said. In September 2011, Khan had approached HC challenging the Maharashtra government proposal.

Senior counsel Milind Sathe, appearing for the actor, argued under general law, a person was considered an adult after attaining the age of 18. "At the age of 18, the person is allowed to vote and procure a driving licence. Girls are allowed to marry at this age. The government cannot impose such an arbitrary restriction. A person of 18 years can make his own decision," he said.

The actor had told reporters after filing the petition that the proposal infringed on fundamental rights of citizens. "If the government has not banned sale of liquor, anyone above the age of 21 should have the choice of consuming it. A major can decide for himself what is right and wrong," he said.

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