Chandigarh, October 2
In order to curb the illegal sale of imported foreign liquor (IFL) and Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) from the liquor vends and to prevent evasion of excise levies and taxes, an enforcement team of the UT Excise and Taxation Department conducted a series of inspections at the liquor retail vends located in Sector 8, 9, 17, 26 and 28 in the past week as part of special drive.
A total of 4,513 bottles of various brands of IFL and IMFL were found without valid pass/permits and were seized by the inspecting team. Cases for breach of excise law have been initiated against the defaulter licensees.
The Excise Department has been actively coordinating with the Chandigarh Police for curbing the liquor smuggling by way of sharing of information and regular coordination meetings. During the Excise Policy 2023-2024, eight FIRs had been registered by the police under Excise Act for cases of liquor smuggling.
The Excise Department has taken strict action against 11 retail liquor vends, four bottling units and two pubs/bar for violation of the Excise Act in the current policy year. Their illegal liquor has been confiscated and penalty proceedings initiated.
“This operation is part of the ongoing efforts to maintain the integrity of the excise system and to protect the interests of the citizens of Chandigarh,” said Vinay Pratap Singh, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Excise and Taxation Commissioner.
Regular coordination meetings have been convened with excise authorities of Punjab and Haryana to curb illegal smuggling. In the past meeting with the excise authorities of Punjab, the Excise and Taxation Commissioner, UT, had shared details of cases of inter-state smuggling and sought information from the Punjab authorities. At the coordination meeting dated September 18, the Punjab excise authorities shared information regarding an FIR registered under the Excise Act in Chandigarh at the Industrial Area Police Station in which around 400 cases of whisky (for sale in Punjab only) were recovered while being illegally smuggled from Punjab. It was also decided that regular officer-level meetings should be held and information sharing mechanism established to curb illegal inter-state smuggling of liquor. The Excise Department will continue taking stringent action against any individual or establishment found involved in such illegal activities. Those found involved in duty evasion will be held accountable under Excise laws.
“We urge the citizens of Chandigarh to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities related to the illegal sale of alcoholic beverages to the Excise and Taxation Department. Such collaborative efforts will be pivotal in maintaining the integrity of the excise system,” he added.
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