The legal drinking age in India and the laws which regulate the sale and consumption of alcohol vary significantly from state to state.
Maharashtra has a permit system under the Bombay Prohibition Act (1949). According to this Act, purchasing and drinking alcohol without a permit is an offence. The Act is clearly spelt out on the Maharashtra government official website.
Even if you want to transport alcohol of any kind in Maharashtra, you require a permit. This requirement is a classic case of a rule which is almost always breached, but has always existed in the statute books. The permissible drinking age is 25 according to the law but various bars, pubs and wine shops have notices proclaiming that alcohol will not be sold to anyone below the age of 21.
Drinkers need to comply with these and a host of other rules in Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital Mumbai. However, according to Vinay Shirke, inspector and deputy superintendent of State Excise Department of Mumbai, the department takes action only when someone complains and they ensure that people are not unnecessarily harassed for consuming liquor at their homes.
The department has given restaurants the authority to issue a day’s permit for Rs 5 for most types of alcohol. For country liquor, the fee is Rs 2.
With a permit, one person can have up to 12 bottles at a time. For a small family party with 8 to 10 people, it’s okay not to get a permit, but it’s important that there be no complaints. In case of a grand event in a building compound, terrace, lawns, etc. where alcohol will be served, license is needed.
Citizens can apply for the license by filling in the form online, submitting necessary documents and making payment online. They can also visit the Old Custom’s House Office at Fort. The permit is granted in a day. The fee for a one-year permit is Rs 100 and Rs 1,000 for a lifetime license.
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