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Delhiites can now get Indian, foreign liquor at home, orders govt

The Delhi government on Tuesday paved the way for home delivery of Indian and foreign brands of liquor in the national capital allowing people to place their order through a mobile application or online web portal but with certain conditions.

The legal provision has been included in the Delhi Excise (Amendment) Rules, 2021, which was notified on Monday. The move comes a week after changes to the Delhi Excise Policy, 2021, had received the approval of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.

Officials said not every liquor retailer will be allowed to carry out home delivery of alcohol under the new rules. “Only a particular kind of license holder will be allowed to home deliver liquor. In Delhi, we have now allowed home delivery of liquor only to L-13 license holders,” an official told HT.

“This is not a new license category that has been created. L-13 permits existed in the previous excise rules as well, but hardly any such license was issued till now because of complexities in the clause which stated that liquor can be delivered to residences only through fax or emails,” said a senior excise official who did not wish to be named.

Additionally, the new excise rules state that the delivery will not be made to any hostel, office, and institution. The order will only be completed by the liquor licensee at a residential address if the order is received through a mobile app or online web portal.

The Delhi government is yet to issue an official statement on the order.

The move comes more than a month after liquor manufacturers asked the Aam Aadmi Party-led government to allow home delivery of alcoholic beverages in the wake of lockdowns which saw mass crowding at the shops.

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Officials said last year that the Delhi government was working on setting up a web page—and deliberating on creating a mobile phone application—to enable the home delivery of liquor in the Capital, as a measure to reduce the massive crowds outside the limited number of open liquor shops. With the scaling down of the lockdown measures after the first wave ebbed in the national capital, people started thronging the few liquor shops open for business. A similar trend continued in the following three waves of the coronavirus pandemic that Delhi witnessed.

The Supreme Court also observed last year that states should consider the indirect sale of liquor, either online or through the home delivery mechanism to ensure social distancing norms are not violated.

So far, several states including Punjab, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, have initiated the process of enabling the home delivery of liquor.

Maharashtra is another state where home delivery has been allowed by the state government after it faced a severe wave of Covid-19 infections this year. The state has imposed tough restrictions and shops are closed in cities like Mumbai to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.

The above news was originally posted on www.hindustantimes.com

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