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Maharashtra tightens norms to curb illicit liquor trade

In a bid to curb manufacture and sale of illicit liquor in Maharashtra, the Government has come out with stringent norms and asked police to promptly look into complaints and conduct regular review meetings.

“It will be mandatory for police officials to immediately register a case if there is a complaint of illegal manufacture or sale of liquor. Apart from those involved in the act, action should also be taken against the landlord of the place if there is evidence of his involvement,” stated a Government Resolution issued by the Home Department.

The GR has mandated police officials to conduct regular checks to detect manufacture and sale of spurious liquor and destroy the seized goods.

Accepting social activist Anna Hazare’s demand, the Government has decided to set up ‘Gram Rakshak Dal’ at the village level. Members of ‘Gram Rakshak Dal’ will help police in curbing illicit liquor.

Those repeatedly involved in illicit liquor trade and manufacturing will be booked under the tough Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords Bootleggers and Drug Offenders Act, it said.

“If the ring operators or financial beneficiaries of manufacture and sale of illicit liquor have been arrested three times and if (after release) they continue committing the crime, the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords Bootleggers and Drug offenders Act will be applied on such persons thereafter,” the GR stated.

It directed the police and Excise Departments to work jointly in curbing the menace and regularly hold meetings to apprise each other of the action taken on complaints.

The identity of the complainant should be withheld and senior police and excise officials must ensure no illegal activity continues in their jurisdiction, the notification said.

Police and excise department officials will face action for dereliction of duty if they fail to stop activities related to illicit liquor in their jurisdiction, it warned.

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