AG to take call on empowering liquor smuggling probe team

Legal Remembrancer returns file as the office ‘doesn’t give opinion on criminal matters’

AG to take call on empowering liquor smuggling probe team

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23

Haryana Legal Remembrancer (LR) has returned the file on giving opinion on empowering Special Enquiry Team (SET) invoking Section 32 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for taking statements of witnesses. Now, Advocate General BR Mahajan will give his opinion on the matter.

The SET was formed to probe liquor smuggling.

According to Home Minister Anil Vij, the LR has said that the LR office doesn’t give opinion on criminal matters.

“The LR has suggested taking the opinion of either Haryana AG or the Prosecution Department,” said Vij. He added, “Now, the AG will give his opinion.”

When asked about the delay as the deadline (May 31) to give the SET report is approaching, Vij said that still “adequate time is available”.

Earlier, Vij had written to the Home Secretary for empowering SET probing liquor smuggling under Section 32 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) immediately so that they could summon and record statements of witnesses.

Section 32 talks about the mode of conferring powers. It says, “In conferring powers under this code, the High Court or the state government, as the case may be, may, by order, empower persons specially by name or in virtue of their offices or classes of officials generally by their official titles.”

The SET has been formed with ACS Power TC Gupta as chairperson while ADGP Subhash Yadav and Additional Excise and Taxation Officer Vijay Singh are its members.

As per the terms of reference, the SET would check the actual availability of stocks in all the warehouses or godowns that were sealed by the Excise Department during the past two years and will examine the cases of seizure of illicit liquor in Haryana from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020, both by the Police and Excise Departments separately. It will also collect and collate the result of investigation of the FIRs registered from March 15 to May 10 that have been registered in different parts of the state for pilferage of liquor from L-1 and L-13 godowns and also from ‘malkhanas’ of the police stations.

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