Jubilee Hills gang-rape raises one key question: Can minors be allowed into city pubs?

"These parties are common and that a lot of class 11 and 12 students like to party after exams," said Kunal Kukreja, the managing partner of Insomnia and Amnesia

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  4 Jun 2022 11:11 AM GMT
Jubilee Hills gang-rape raises one key question: Can minors be allowed into city pubs?

Hyderabad: The most common question being asked in the Jubilee Hills minor gang-rape case is why minors were allowed into a pub. The victim reportedly attended a party hosted by her friends at the city's Insomnia and Amnesia pub. In contrary to what is being followed in Hyderabad pubs, Section 36 (1) (g) of the Telangana State Excise Act states that selling, giving, or allowing a minor on the premises where an intoxicant is sold or manufactured is an offense.

Insomnia and Amnesia are two different clubs in the same building run by the same owners in Jubilee Hills. Kunal Kukreja, the managing partner of Insomnia and Amnesia, told NewsMeter that the party was booked well in advance and that around 150 people (all minors) attended. "The party happened in Insomnia at noon. We have parties like this often. For parties involving minors, we have a separate and dedicated space where other customers are not allowed," Kunal said.

He explained that these parties are common and that a lot of class 11 and 12 students like to party after exams. "At the party that took place on 28 May, no alcohol was served," he said. Kunal also explained that minors are only allowed into the pub if they are with their parent or guardians. "We do not serve alcohol to minors," he reiterated.

However, the law states that since a pub is a place where alcohol is served, minors or people under 21 cannot be on the premises. Hence, it is not legal for pubs to host minors even in dedicated spaces. Several clubs in Hyderabad reportedly host parties for minors in "dedicated" or "private" spaces within the club with no access to alcohol or smoking.

It is pertinent to note that when a similar question on entry of minors into pubs was raised during the recent meeting between Telangana Excise and prohibition minister G. Srinivas Goud and Hyderabad pub owners, the minister approved the idea of allowing minors but only under the guidance of parents/guardians or majors. Also, pub owners were strictly asked to keep a vigil on minors and ensure no alcohol is served to them. Failing this, the pub's license would be canceled.

A few years ago, the prohibition and Excise department of Telangana had made it compulsory for pub-goers to show their identity card, especially their Aadhar cards.

What happened after the party?

After a 17-year-old girl was gang raped in a moving car in Jubilee Hills on Saturday, the police on 3 June revealed that the car was registered on 21 March 2020 and the owner of the vehicle is Nahin Fatima Khatoon.

The red Mercedes Benz CLA200D BSIV has been registered at the Road Transport Authority (RTA), Hyderabad-CZ (central zone).

The 17-year-old girl was returning from a party when she was allegedly sexually assaulted by a group of youngsters in a moving vehicle in the Jubilee Hills area in the city on May 28th 2022. The son of an influential person was allegedly involved in the incident along with four others. All the five accused are minors.

According to the complaint filed by the victim's father, on the afternoon of 28 May, his daughter went to a party at Amnesia & Insomnia Pub located on Road No. 36, Jubilee Hills. At about 5.30 p.m, a few guys in a red Mercedes took her out of the pub and misbehaved with her. They also inflicted minor injuries on her neck.

The police had earlier registered a case under section 354 (outrage of modesty) of the IPC and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act against the accused. The girl was sent for medical examination and the police altered the case and added section 376 (gang rape) of the IPC.

The police initially registered a case of "outraging the modesty" based on a complaint lodged by the victim's family three days ago. The investigators sent the girl for medical examination. When the woman officers at the Bharosa centre interacted with the minor, she reportedly revealed the sexual assault.

On Saturday, two juveniles involved in the Jubilee Hills gang rape case were arrested. One of the accused, who is a major, was arrested on Friday night. The other two accused are yet to be arrested. The accused are being produced in court on Saturday.

West zone DCP Joel Davis said of the five accused, two are minors. One of those arrested on Friday is 18-year-old Saduddin Malik. Along with Malik, two juveniles were arrested on Saturday. Officials confirmed that one of the juveniles is a politician's son. So far, out of 5 accused persons identified, 3 are juveniles and till now 1 major and 2 juveniles have been apprehended and efforts are continued to apprehend the remaining accused who are absconding.

"The juveniles were not arrested on June 3 evening since it is night. He will be arrested on Saturday morning. Another major is Omair Khan who has not been arrested. The minors are in the age group of 16-17. Irrespective of their affiliation, we will catch all the culprits within 48 hours," said Mr. Davis on Friday night

Next Story
Share it