In an order issued by both the district magistrates, collectors, and district election officers, the sale and service of alcohol in the state of Goa has been prohibited after 11 pm till April 20th. The order states that “premises having a license for bar and restaurant are allowed to keep the restaurant open for serving food only and the bar counter shall be closed. No liquor shall be allowed to be served or sold during the above mentioned days and time.” To avoid any miscommunication with patrons, the establishments have also been instructed to display a sign-board with the announcement.
Model Code of Conduct
With the model code of conduct in effect since March 10, there have been some restrictions, however, most establishments have reported that they have not received any formal notice about the sale of alcohol till now. The curtailing of alcohol sale and service times is enforced to ensure that political parties and candidates don’t use liquor to influence potential voters. At this time, we are unclear as to how this will affect music and entertainment events in the state. If the past is any indicator, there are chances that late-night events will be forced to wind up earlier.
A strict vigil
As part of the order, directions have already been issued to flying squads, officials of the excise department, police, and other authorised officers and officials to keep a strict vigil on all ongoing activities, and to also track the movements of large consignments of alcohol. Establishments that are caught selling alcohol post 11 pm will be liable for penal action under section 188 of IPC, read with section 30 of the Excise Duty Act, 1964, and other provisions of laws in force. In addition to the curfew till April 20th, the sale and service of alcohol will be banned completely starting 6 pm on April 21st till 12 midnight on April 23rd which are the polling days in Goa.
What are your thoughts on the Model Code of Conduct? Do you think it’s necessary? Let us know in the comments