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No restriction on women serving liquor: HC
January 12, 2006 13:22 IST
No restriction can be imposed on women from working at a place where liquor or other intoxicating drugs are served to customers, the Delhi High Court said on Thursday in a ruling that could have far-reaching implications for the burgeoning hotel industry.
The Court struck down as "unconstitutional" Section 30 of the Punjab Excise Act, which prohibited women, and men below the age of 25 years, from serving liquor at public places.
A Division Bench of Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice H R Malhotra however clarified that the management of business houses and the hospitality industry, where liquor and other intoxicating drugs are served, cannot compel women to serve the same against their wishes.
Appearing for the petitioners, senior counsel Arun Jaitley contended that the impugned legislation was unconstitutional as it violated the fundamental right of women to choose their own profession and discriminated against them on the basis of their gender.The Hotel Association of India and four others including two women employed in the hotel industry filed the petition. The petitioners wondered how the state could impose restrictions on women being employed in the liquor industry particularly when the government did not deem it necessary to ban the supply and sale of liquor.