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‘Why should we talk to Dunzo?’ State regulators fume at liquor delivery

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In 2016, the Chandigarh police ordered thirty bottles of liquor on getTalli, an online liquor ordering platform. "We do not sell liquor. On your request, we procure liquor from a government authorized vendor on your behalf and deliver it to you," getTalli explained on its website, according to a Hindustan Times report. The police weren't exactly interested in consuming that liquor. The order was a trap. They arrested both Pratham Gupta and Anurag Awasthi, who founded the site. The two were charged with criminal conspiracy, fraud, and a state law prohibiting "unlawful import, export, transport, manufacture, possession, etc". The site was shut down. Excise is a state subject, so each state has varying levels of strictness in regulating services like Dunzo, which allow users to buy alcohol (among several other things) through them. Karnataka is among the stricter jurisdictions. Dunzo stopped delivering alcohol in the state when regulators made noise about online alcohol delivery not being a recognized mode of sale. "Why should we talk to [Dunzo]?" Rajendra Prasad, an excise official in Bangalore told MediaNama. Dunzo doesn't seem to have government relations managers, so the company has chosen simply to shut down alcohol delivery rather than engage with regulators. Alcohol deliveries previously accounted for around one in thirty orders for Dunzo in Bangalore, an employee told The News Minute. Alcohol delivery and the law On the face of it, alcohol delivery — at least the kind used by Dunzo — doesn't seem to be cause for regulatory concern. Third…

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