Almost immediately after The Free Press Journal carried an exclusive news article-Errant Wine Shop & Bar Owners to Face Excise Heat- the Thane (rural) police dashed off a letter to the excise department on Wednesday, seeking cancellation of licenses of two establishments in the twin-city, which were found to be selling Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks during the lockdown period, last month.
In a belated but much needed move, the local crime branch (LCB) unit officially intimated the excise department ( C-division) about the action, tagged with a request seeking cancellation of licenses awarded to- Singh Beer Shop in Kashimira and Aqua Family Restro Bar ( Hotel Satish Enclave) located in the Golden Nest area of Bhayandar (east). The operators of both the establishments were apprehended after they were caught red-handed while selling liquor during the lockdown period, thus defeating the sole purpose of attempts to contain the spread of the pandemic.
“Yes, we have requested the excise department to cancel the licenses of liquor vendors who were caught defying lockdown.” confirmed, Senior Police Inspector- Vyenkat Andhale. The district collector, who himself heads the district disaster management authority is empowered to assess the severity of offences and decide the quantum of punishments which range from monetary penalties, temporary suspension of licenses and even permit termination.
When contacted excise officials maintained that they had already followed the due process of law for breach-of-rules against errant liquor vendors who had been booked under the sections of the Bombay Prohibition Act, IPC, Disaster Management Act and Excise Act.