Staff Reporter :
Kantilal Umap, Excise Commissioner of Maharashtra, has asked all the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of his department across the State to act against illicit liquor transport and sale. For carrying out the action effectively, the department shall constitute various squads and send those to various parts of the State. “If such illicit trade is reported in future, the Superintendent of respective district shall be held directly accountable and the officers/staffers concerned shall face stringent action,” Umap has warned in a circular issued in this regard to subordinate offices across the State, on July 19. In the circular, Umap has pointed out that illicit sale of liquor has ‘increased in a big way’ due to COVID-19 lockdown, and change in timing of liquor sale. He has cited the cases registered by State Excise Department and Police Department in this regard, to stress upon his point.
In various parts of the State, he has stated, “Prima-facie, it seems that the officers/staffers are not working to the fullest of their capacity. This is a serious matter.” He has made the said observation citing that the officers/staffers from other districts have recently registered cases relating to illicit trade of liquor/extract/Taadi etc in some districts. Taking serious cognisance of such incidents, Ajit Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister, had recently expressed displeasure and stressed upon the need for stringent action against illicit liquor trade. Quoting Pawar’s directions, Umap has stated in the circular that the field-level staff should effectively and permanently curb illicit trade.
Else, he has warned, the Superintendent of respective district shall be held directly accountable and the officers/staffers concerned shall face stringent action. As part of the crackdown on illicit liquor trade, Umap has suggested his subordinates to keep close watch on suspects/accused in liquor cases, initiating action in cases of illicit transport of liquor from other States under Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act, effectively enforcing the provisions of Maharashtra Prohibition Act, 1949. Umap has suggested action against the land-owners involved in illicit liquor production, suppliers of capital/raw material etc.