In spite of a series of raids by the Thane (rural) police, some wine shop owners have refused to mend their ways. While the state government has allowed home delivery of liquor barring containment zones, some establishments continue to indulge in over-the-counter sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), thus defeating the entire purpose of the stop-gap arrangements put in place by the district administration to contain the spread of coronavirus.
According to the officials, an FIR was registered at the Mira Road police station against the manager and security guard of Miraj Wines in Sheetal Nagar, under the relevant sections of the Maharashtra Prohibition Act and provisions of the IPC for disobeying orders duly promulgated by a public servant.
The action was taken in the wake of a video clip exposing the illegalities went viral on social media platforms.
Initially, the police had claimed that the shop was closed, but later filed an offence against the duo, following directions from SP Dr. Shivaji Rathod and Additional SP Sanjay Patil.
Staffers and managers of as many as four liquor vending units have been booked for their alleged involvement in over-the-counter sale or deliveries executed from around the premises of the establishment in the past one week.
While the erring establishments continue to sell IMFL, action against them by the excise department is still awaited. Notably, 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 can range from monetary penalties to temporary suspension of licenses and even permit termination.