A Mumbai-based doctor has written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis demanding one specific age for consumption of any alcoholic beverages in Maharashtra.
In a letter dated March 22, Dr Sagar Mundada, Psychiatrist and Youth Wing Chairman IMA (Maharashtra), argues that the state has an irrational law on consumption of alcohol in terms of permissible age.
“Maharashtra is the only state in India where minimum age for alcohol consumption varies for different alcoholic beverages. The permissible age for drinking wine is 18 years, for beer it is 21 years and for hard liquor it is 25 years,” said Mundada.
He said the percentage of alcohol in beer is less than wine and therefore, the present law itself is encouraging youngsters to start drinking more harmful forms of liquor at an early age.
“For hard liquor drinkers, the age limit is 25, but nobody follows it. Once you turn 18 and are allowed to drink wine, you can go to a bar and nobody is going to stop you from drinking hard drinks, which are not allowed by law till 25. Therefore, the present law is of no use,” said Mundada, who plans to start a campaign to encourage responsible drinking of alcohol in Maharashtra.
He further plans to move court on the irregularity on age limits for alcohol consumption.
“As per the information obtained from excise department, there has been an increase in wine consumption in the state. We need to have a single specified age of 21 to consume any form of alcoholic beverages. I have literally seen youngsters waste their lives due to alcohol at an early age. There needs to be an urgent amendment in the existing law,” said Mundada.