Open bars at private functions come under ECI scanner

As the season of auspicious functions such as marriages and the like has coincided with the polls, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has kept an eye on lavish programmes where liquor is served to guests.

Serving liquor to guests during family functions is a common phenomenon in Kodagu.

But the model code of conduct forbids serving liquor in the open bar.

The CEC has clarified that there is no restriction on conducting private functions.

However, serving liquor during the functions would lead to the violation of the code of conduct.

The district administration, as per directions issued by the election commission, has made it mandatory for the hosts to avail prior permission for serving liquor during private functions. This will be applicable to the functions scheduled between March 27 and May 18.

Following the same, family functions such as weddings, receptions, engagements and so on will be under the scanner.

Gala functions would generally be thrown to guests in wedding halls, where the guests will be served with liquor in the open bar. Now, it is mandatory for the organiser to obtain the permit for the same by making a payment of Rs 11,500, along with availing a prior permission.

The organisers of private functions have now been moving in and out of police stations, Excise Department and election offices to avail permission, by submitting applications along with a copy of the invitation to the programme.

Assistant Commissioner Ramesh P Konareddy and Agriculture Department Deputy Director K Raju have been appointed as the Election officers of Madikeri and Virajpet assembly constituencies.

Appropriate action would be initiated if liquor is supplied to guests or if liquor is stored in more than the limited quantity without a permit, said officials from the Excise Department.

The wine shops are to be closed before 9.30 pm.

The customers are not allowed to carry liquor outside bar and restaurants.

Also, sale of liquor in huge quantities is prohibited.

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