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SET holds Haryana excise officers responsible of inaction in liquor seizure probes – chandigarh


Indicating inaction by Haryana excise and taxation officers in investigation of circumstances involving massive seizures of unlawful liquor, the particular enquiry workforce (SET), constituted to inquire into the cases of liquor pilferage from warehouses, in its report mentioned that regardless of having powers to research, the division didn’t accomplish that.

Throughout an interactive session with SET, the excise and taxation commissioner (ETC), Shekhar Vidyarthi, on June 27 mentioned that deputy excise and taxation commissioners (excise) posted in districts had been vested with the powers of collector to research circumstances of seizure of unlawful liquor and had been absolutely answerable for investigation as per the requirement of the case.

“In circumstances of massive seizures, the small print are additionally despatched to the collector on the head workplace. Usually, the collector follows up the massive detections although excise and taxation commissioner can be apprised. Nevertheless, the ETC admitted no such investigation of unlawful liquor confiscated within the subject is being carried out by the excise division,” mentioned the inquiry report submitted to house minister Anil Vij.

Quoting an occasion, the SET report mentioned one such large detection was reported by Sonepat DETC (excise) in February 2019 whose particulars had been additionally despatched to the ETC workplace.

“Since no motion was taken by the ETC workplace, the Sonepat DETC merely saved on issuing notices in that case and didn’t finalise the proceedings till Might 2020 when that case got here into limelight after the Kharkhauda-Matindoo godown fiasco whereby FIR was registered by police on Might 5,” the report mentioned.

Excise division did not get well massive penalty quantity

The SET report has additionally blamed the excise and taxation division for its failure to make sure that penalties for excise offences had been levied on time and recovered from the offenders. “As per provisions of Haryana Imposition and Restoration of Penalty Guidelines, 2003, the collector releases the offender on furnishing of sureties or securities to his satisfaction. Therefore, it’s indefensible as to why penalties haven’t been recovered in lots of circumstances,” the report mentioned.

The report talked about that out of 8,337 circumstances of unlawful liquor seizure between April 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020, 8,171 circumstances have been determined.

Out of penalty of about ₹8.58 crore imposed, the division has recovered solely ₹7.21 crore, leaving a steadiness of ₹1.37 crore, the report mentioned.

“The then collector, Yogesh Kumar, tried to defend this inaction by stating that penalty has been recovered in 97% of circumstances. Nevertheless, he has cleverly not given the quantity of penalty which is required to be recovered as a result of remaining 3% circumstances quantity to 16% of the whole quantity of penalty imposed,” the report mentioned.

As per the report, in circumstances involving large penalty quantities just like the one pertaining to Kharkhauda-Matindoo godown case, penalties haven’t been recovered.

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