Operation Night Sweep: Bids for limited-edition whiskey, sale of substandard liquor come to fore in Punjab : The Tribune India

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Operation Night Sweep: Bids for limited-edition whiskey, sale of substandard liquor come to fore in Punjab

Several bars, nightclubs found flouting norms during statewide raids

Operation Night Sweep: Bids for limited-edition whiskey, sale of substandard liquor come to fore in Punjab

The Excise and Taxation Department launched operation ‘night sweep’ and found glaring anomalies and malpractices at bars and nightclubs in the state.



Tribune News Service

Ruchika M Khanna

Chandigarh, May 28

The Excise and Taxation Department launched operation ‘night sweep’ and found glaring anomalies and malpractices at bars and nightclubs in the state.

Numerous bars in Mohali, Jalandhar and Amritsar were found serving not just substandard liquor in the name of single malt, but limited edition liquor was also being auctioned after receiving bids from the guests.

6 violators booked

  • Action has been initiated against four violators in Mohali and one each in Jalandhar and Amritsar under the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, the Poison Act, 1919, and the Punjab Liquor Licence Rules, 1956

13 teams roped in

We received complaints against these bars. A total of 13 search parties from different districts conducted the operation. Harpal Singh Cheema, Excise Minister

It came to the fore that a 60-ml drink of a limited edition whiskey was being auctioned at a reserve price of Rs 5,000 at some of these bars. Whosoever made the highest bid was also served a 30-ml drink as a reward.

It has been learnt that the first few drinks were served of the brand demanded and paid for by customers, but later less expensive drinks were served.

Many bars were found serving liquor to persons below 25 years of age. The excise teams recovered expired bottles of beer and imported liquor on which the excise duty had not been paid. Most of the bars were also found operating beyond the permissible time limit (1 am).

Excise Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said, “We received a number of complaints against these bars and nightclubs. A total of 13 search parties from different districts conducted the operation to ensure complete transparency.”

He said as bars and nightclubs do brisk business on weekends, Saturday night was specifically chosen for the operation ‘night sweep’.

Excise Commissioner Varun Roojam said officials from the Health Department were also roped in as they had inputs regarding use of hookah at the bars (ban on nicotine in hookah). He said they also collected samples to see if any other illegal substance was being added to the hookahs.

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