A week after the Maharashtra State Excise Department’s officials conducted a surprise inspection at Wankhede Stadium and seized 865 alcohol bottles, the department has sought explanation from the licence holder over the same. According to excise officials, the department has sent a notice to the licence holder seeking an explanation to why alcohol was served after midnight and why some brands of alcohol bottles were present in the stands that are not listed with the excise department.
“We have issued a notice to the licence holder against whose name the licence was issued, and have sought an explanation for the breach. The licence holder is being given an opportunity to prove his side and, if he had the required permissions, then he will be given a fair chance to bring it to the notice of the department,” said Shivaji Patil, excise superintendent (city).
MiD DAY had reported (‘865 alcohol bottles seized from Wankhede post match’, May 11) about the incident wherein it was revealed that alcohol was being served beyond the prescribed time limit mentioned in the one-day party licence. “Fifteen days have been allotted to the licence holder, and if he fails to reply within this period, the excise department will prosecute him by bringing this violation to the collector’s notice, who has the authority to fine or take action against the licence holder,” said Patil.
On the night of May 9, a team of excise officials conducted an inspection after the completion of an IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore at Wankhede Stadium. Out of the 60 VVIP corporate boxes that were checked, 40 had alcohol bottles. According to the excise norms the licence holder should ensure that the bottles are released as soon as the permit time has elapsed.
However, bottles were still lying in boxes where they could have been reused, which is against the law. Not only this, there were bottles of liquor that were not even registered with the excise department. In such incidences, the material that was not surrendered is normally auctioned and the licence holder has to pay a fine that varies from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000. The excise department disposes the non-registered liquor bottles.