State Excise Department Seizes Over Rs. 18 Crore Worth of Liquor in Pune District Ahead of Lok Sabha Polls

Share this News:

Sumit Singh & Varad Bhatkhande

Pune, 5th April 2024: In compliance with directives from Commissioner Vijay Suryavanshi of the State Excise Department, Maharashtra, along with the efforts of Director of Enforcement and Vigilance, Sunil Chavan, and Divisional Deputy Commissioner, Sagar Dhomkar, the State Excise Department has been actively engaged in preparations for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections 2024 in Pune district.

This involves cracking down on the production and transportation of illicit liquor, both within the state and across borders. From April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024, the department undertook various measures, resulting in a significant increase in revenue for the Pune division, amounting to 2,735 crores, marking a notable 22.59% rise compared to the preceding year.

While speaking to Punekar News, Charan Singh Rajput, superintendent of the state excise department, Pune, said, “Under the guidance of our seniors, my team has left no stone unturned to achieve this extraordinary target. I am thankful to my seniors and my entire Pune team.”

In Pune district, the fiscal year 2023-24 witnessed a 7.3% surge in the sale of country-made liquor compared to the previous year. Similarly, there was a 10.7% increase in foreign liquor consumption and a 10.6% rise in beer consumption, with wine also experiencing a marginal uptick of 0.5% compared to the preceding year, informed Rajput.

During the same period, the Pune district reported 3,370 registered excise-related crimes, leading to the arrest of 3,513 individuals and the confiscation of 422 vehicles. The total value of confiscated liquor, encompassing various types including country-made, foreign, beer, and Toddy, amounted to approximately 18,47,34,511 rupees.

Another concern was the 1,948 incidents involving the production, transportation, and sale of illicit hand-kiln liquor. These resulted in the arrest of 616 individuals and the confiscation of 329 vehicles, with the seized liquor valued at approximately 9,26,97,790 rupees.

Furthermore, by Section 93 of the Maharashtra Prohibition Act, 1949, individuals with a history-sheeters of excise-related crimes were allowed to demonstrate improved conduct. In the year 2023-24, 491 such proposals were submitted, resulting in bonds being issued worth a total of Rs 1,14,26,000 underlining efforts towards rehabilitation and compliance with the law.

During the fiscal year 2023-24, the Pune district saw the submission of 17 proposals under the MPDA Act of 1981, leading to the detention of 10 individuals, with one being externed.

Under Sections 68 and 84 of the Maharashtra Prohibition Act of 1949, the State Excise Department has the authority to register cases and take action against individuals consuming liquor in unauthorized places. In this regard, 308 cases were registered, involving 541 accused, with 201 individuals found guilty by the courts. The imposed fines amounted to a total of 7,53,700 rupees.

Additionally, in the Pune district, approximately 297 liquor shops with FL 3 licenses were found violating regulations, resulting in 13 suspensions and 2 permanent closures. The Pune district collector levied fines totalling 64,50,000 rupees. Similarly, 52 foreign beer liquor shops holding FLBR licenses were found in breach, leading to 18 suspensions and 4 permanent closures, with fines amounting to 6,90,000 rupees collected. Furthermore, 46 liquor shops with FL2 licenses were found in violation, resulting in two suspensions and a fine of 11,20,000 rupees. Finally, 87 shops with CL3 licenses were found breaching rules, leading to 1 suspension and a fine of 21,35,000 rupees collected by the Pune district collector.

In preparation for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and to ensure law and order, the Maharashtra State Excise Department has established 14 regular teams and three special teams, operational round the clock. Individuals with information pertinent to the department’s activities are encouraged to contact their toll-free number at 1800233999 or the landline number at 020-26058633.