Panaji: In the wake of a shocking fraud and forgery scandal involving its officials, the Excise Department has established a six-member committee. The primary objective of this committee is to conduct a thorough audit of all excise stations across the talukas.
Composition and responsibilities of the committee
The committee consists of two excise inspectors and their subordinates. Their main task is to visit the excise stations physically and meticulously review various records spanning the past few years.
The records to be examined include the total number of licenses issued, payment receipts, pending applications, cash holdings, and the stock of seized liquor, among other relevant documents. Focus on Pernem Excise Station and Suspended Officials. The Pernem excise station has particularly come under scrutiny due to the fraudulent activities of Upper Division Clerk Harish Naik.
Naik found guilty of manipulation
Naik was found guilty of manipulating records, forging official and bank documents, and misappropriating funds. Inspectors Vibhuti Shetye and Durgesh Naik, who were also involved, have been suspended pending further departmental proceedings. The suspended officials are currently reporting to the headquarters as per the orders issued by Excise Commissioner Narayan Gad on Tuesday.
Congress demands FIR
On the other hand, the Congress party workers have submitted a memorandum to Commissioner Gad, urging the immediate registration of an FIR against the suspended staff for financial fraud. They have also demanded a comprehensive investigation by the Crime Branch to determine the extent of the losses incurred and identify the main mastermind behind the scam. The party has raised questions regarding the Commissioner's attempt to suppress the matter without delving into its root causes and inquired about the last audit conducted in the department.