Bars and pubs on MG Road have been serving liquor to the people below the age of 21 without checking their ID’s.
Even after the existence of laws against underage people consuming alcohol, they find ways to buy booze for themselves quite easily. MG Road has bars and pubs that violate the rules laid down by the Karnataka Excise Department. This happens time and again, it was reported in the year 2016, 2017 and 2018 by different media’s respectively.
Prabhu, manager at a bar said “When it comes to our bar, we check their ID’s by an app called the “Fast-scanner,” “It scans their Aadhaar card and shows their current age.” Dhanush Adiga another manager said “We do check their ID’s, the security person comes and inspects,” but minors tell a different story.
“According to the Karnataka Excise rules, 1967, the legal age of consuming alcohol is 21. These offences are compounded under section 45 of Karnataka Excise Act with a fine ranging from Rs. 5,000/- to Rs.50,000/-. (Distillery and Warehouse) Rules 1967, The Excise Commissioner is empowered to sanction distillery licence with the previous sanction of state Government. (Brewery) Rules 1967.”
An underage consumer said “I’m an 18 year old and have been getting into bars and pubs often for a drink and was never asked for my ID till date. Its way easy these days trust me.”
IAS Officer (Excise crime and enforcement), Venkat Raja said, “It’s the fault of both the bars and the person consuming it. The bars can’t go on checking everybody’s ID; it’s the responsibility of the individuals to ensure they don’t do things which are harmful for them. As far as we’re concerned, we often go on a surprise patrol and then take necessary actions. The punishment comes in three ways, compounding, confiscating or non-renewal of the liquor license.”
Fr Henry Saldanha, Pricipal-St.Joseph’s Indian High School, said “It’s very important for bars and pubs to put ethics before business. When they put ethics before business they’ll have monitoring mechanism.”