Chandigarh, March 17
Following the special enquiry team (SET) findings and two other inquiries into the liquor scam during the Covid period, the Haryana Government today told the Vidhan Sabha that it had taken action against 27 police personnel in 14 cases and issued chargesheets against eight assistant excise and taxation officers (AETOs) and several excise inspectors so far.
95,110 persons arrested in 7 years
- From 2016 to 2022, 87,997 cases had been registered and 95,110 persons arrested for possessing illegal and spurious liquor
- A special enquiry team was set up on May 11, 2020, to inquire into liquor theft from recovered stock stored in temporary warehouse on the Kharkhoda-Matindoo road, Sonepat.
- The report was submitted on July 30, 2020, with recommendations for taking action against officials for lapses
Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, who also holds the charge of the Excise and Taxation Department, told the House about the government’s action in reply to a Calling Attention Motion moved by Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) MLA Abhay Chautala and Congress MLA Neeraj Sharma.
The SET was set up on May 11, 2020, to inquire into the theft of liquor from the recovered stock stored in the temporary warehouse on the Kharkhoda-Matindoo road, Sonepat. The report was submitted on July 30, 2020, with recommendations for taking action against officials for lapses.
The government then formed one committee under ADGP Kala Ramachandran and another SIT under ADGP Shrikant Jadhav.
After their reports, action had been taken against 27 police personnel in 14 cases, said the Deputy CM. On action by the Excise and Taxation Department, he said an excise inspector was chargesheeted against whom FIRs had been registered in Sonepat and seven AETOs were chargsheeted under rule 7 of Haryana Civil Services Rules, 2016, who had approved permits during March 27, 2020, to March 31, 2020, for the movement of liquor when the liquor vends were ordered to be closed due to the Covid lockdown.
One AETO had been issued chargsheet under Rule 8. “Furthermore, chargesheets have been issued against 15 excise inspectors who had approved permits and passes from March 27, 2020, to March 31, 2020,” said Dushyant Chautala.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau also registered an inquiry on September 1, 2020, and so far has recorded statements from 214 liquor contractors, 111 officials of the Excise and Taxation Department, 869 police officials, and 46 people related to distilleries, breweries and bottling plants. A one-member committee of the Chief Secretary had been constituted on May 18, 2022, for identifying correctional measures.
CM Manohar Lal Khattar said a vigilance inquiry in the matter was still going on, the report of which was awaited. He added that the Chief Secretary was also yet to submit its report. Former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda demanded a CBI probe in the matter, to which the government didn’t agree. The Speaker expunged Abhay’s corruption allegations against the Deputy CM.
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