After the draft notification lowering the age limit was published on January 9, a period of 30 days was given for any objections from persons likely to be affected by it.
Just ten days after inviting public opinion on a proposal to lower the legal age for buying liquor from 21 years to 18 years, the Karnataka government has withdrawn the draft notification. In a press note issued on Wednesday, January 18, the state excise department said that it was withdrawing the draft notification to amend the Karnataka Excise (General Conditions of Licences) Rules, 1967 to lower the age limit for liquor sale based on objections raised by “public, associations and media.” The cancelled proposal was based on the recommendation of a high-level committee set up under retired bureaucrat V Yashwanth and in response to demands from the liquor lobby.
The draft notification was published on January 9, to amend Rule 10(1)(e) of the Karnataka Excise (General Conditions of Licences) Rules, 1967, which prohibits sale of liquor to persons below the age of 21 years by substituting the words ‘eighteen years’ for the words ‘twenty-one years’. In the press note announcing its withdrawal, Karnataka Excise Commissioner J Ravishankar mentioned that Section 36(1)(g) of the Karnataka Excise Act, 1965, on the other hand, fixes the minimum age for liquor purchase at 18 years.
The Excise Commissioner mentioned that the high-level committee had been set up to identify and eliminate redundant aspects in the Karnataka Excise Act, 1965 and Rules, and had thereby recommended lowering the age limit. He said that the lowering of the age limit was proposed to remove the contradiction between the Karnataka Excise Act and the Rules. After the draft notification lowering the age limit was published on January 9, a period of 30 days was given for any objections or suggestions from persons likely to be affected by it.
“In consideration to the objections raised by public, associations and media with respect to the said draft rules lowering the age limit from 21 years to 18 years…the draft rules published to amend Rule 10(1)(e) of the Karnataka Excise (General Conditions of Licences) Rules, 1967…has been withdrawn with immediate effect,” the press note from the excise department said.
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