The Maharashtra State Excise Department clamped down on alcohol served beyond the permissible time during the Indian Premier League (IPL) match held between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore at Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday night. The excise department impounded 865 bottles of assorted brands of imported wine, champagne, beer and vodka that were lying in VVIP chambers of the corporate stands. A few bottles were confiscated as they were not on the list of the excise department.
According to excise officials, the person who has acquired a day-licence has to surrender the booze to the collector after the event is over.
In this case, the licence holder, Ashok Singh, employee of an event management company, violated the set rules. Out of the 60 VVIP corporate boxes that were raided, 40 had alcohol bottles. Shivaji Patil, excise superintendent (city) said, “We went for an inspection after the match and found liquor bottles lying in corporate boxes, even after the prescribed time limit mentioned in the one-day party licence. The licence holder should ensure that the bottles are released as soon as the permit time is over. However, we found bottles lying in boxes where they can be reused, which is against the law. Not only this there were bottles of liquor that were not even registered with the excise department.”
“The cost of the material seized hasn’t been calculated yet, but it will be huge. As we have seized many imported bottles of Scotch and vodka that are exorbitant. The cost will only be known tomorrow,” said Pilgankar, sub-inspector, excise department. A case has been registered against the licence holder, Ashok Singh, who was issued one-day party license by the department. “In such cases the material that was not surrendered is normally auctioned and the licence holder has to pay the fine that varies from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000. The collector takes the decision. The non registered liquor will be disposed of by the excise department,” said Patil.Patil, also revealed that the huge quantity of liquor was seized from the Garware stand, which is normally occupied by many leading industrialists.
The state excise department recently busted two rackets, where they found bootleggers mixing cheap liquor, procured from neighbouring state Goa, into bottles of premium alcohol brands. On May 7, excise department seized 272 bottles of illegal liquor worth Rs1.4 lakh from a flat in Khar. “We arrested two men named Gulam Satkar alias Pinto and Tuntun Singh. The flat had a board of K P L Caterers. Acting on a tip-off we raided the flat and found the duo mixing cheap liquor in duplicate liquor bottles,” said Joshi, inspector, flying squad (suburb). A similar racket was busted in the last week of April when excise department seized 106 litres of Scotch from Evershine Nagar, Malad. This, too, was refilled in duplicate bottles.
List of a few liquor bottles that
were not listed with excise:
Pinky vodka 750 ml 3 bottles
Absolut vodka 750 ml 1 bottle
Black Dog 750 ml 2 bottles
Whyte & Mackay blended Scotch 1 bottle
Did you know?
One-day party licence: Rs 8,500
One-day wine party licence: Rs 600