Law to curb spurious liquor sale, illegal import of alcohol

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - 22:21

New Delhi: Illegal possession of imported
liquor or bringing alcohol from abroad without paying
customs duty may land you in jail for upto three years, apart
from imposition of a penalty of Rs one lakh.

As part of Delhi Excise Act, which came into effect
yesterday, consuming alcohol at public places will attract a
fine of Rs 5,000 instead of current Rs 200 and if the offender
creates nuisance than the fine will be upto Rs 10,000 with a
jail term of three months.
The Act also provides for very strict punishment for
those involved in mixing noxious drug or ingredient in liquor.

If as a result of such an act death is caused, then the
offender may face death sentence or life imprisonment along
with a penalty of upto Rs 10 lakh.

The legislation says if someone is grievously hurt as
a result of such act, then the offender may face imprisonment
of not less than six years which could be extended to life
imprisonment.

"The punishment has been enhanced to deter people from
selling spurious liquor and stop hooch tragedies," Delhi
Finance Minister A K Walia said, giving details about
provisions of the new legislation.

The legislation, which was passed by Delhi Assembly
late last year, replaces the Punjab Excise Act 1914, provision
of which was extended to Delhi in 1939.

Unlawful import, export, manufacture, transport,
possession and sale of liquor will attract imprisonment
between six months to three years and fine of up to Rs one
lakh, he said.
Walia said Delhi has become the first state to enact its
own Excise Act as per the model excise act suggested by the
Ministry of Food Processing and Industries.

The legislation has been brought with an aim to come down
hard on those involved in trade of spurious and adulterated
liquor and smuggling of liquor, he said.

As per the legislation, if any person, after having
been previously convicted of an offence punishable under the
new Act, subsequently commits any offence and is convicted,
then he will get double the punishment provided for the first
conviction.

Walia said all offences punishable under the Act with
imprisonment of two years and more shall be non-bailable and
the provisions of the code of criminal procedures with respect
to non-bailable offence will apply to those offences.

The Minister said as per the new legislation, sale of
liquor is not permitted near religious places and schools.
Hence, it has extended the prohibited area limit from 75
metres to 100 metres for such places.

He said officials from excise department will be able
to arrest those involved in liquor related offences. Earlier,
the department used to provide inputs to police to take action
against the offenders. "However, police will carry out the
investigations," Walia added.

In case of unlawful import, export, manufacture,
transport, possession and sale, the earlier Act had provision
of imprisonment of up to three years and fine up to Rs 2,000
whereas the new Act provides for imprisonment between six
months to three years and fine of up to Rs one lakh.
In case of offences relating to selling de-natured
spirit not fit for human consumption, the new Act provides for
imprisonment between two to five years and a fine up to Rs 2
lakh lac has been provided. As per the earlier Act, the
offenders were liable for imprisonment up to one year and fine
up to Rs 1,000.

Walia added that the city government is very much
concerned about consumption of liquor in public places. Hence
it was decided to extend punishment in such cases.

In the earlier Act only a Rs 200 fine was being imposed
for such offences whereas in the new Act consumption of liquor
in public place will attract fine up to Rs 5,000.

Consumption of liquor in public place and creating
nuisance will attract fine up to Rs 10,000 along with
imprisonment up to three months.

Walia added that the fine mentioned in the earlier Act
for employing minors or selling liquor to minors was only Rs
500 whereas the new Act provides for imprisonment up to three
months or fine up to Rs 50,000 or both.

He further stated that age for serving liquor has
been reduced from 25 years to 21 years. However, minimum age
for consumption of liquor has been kept at 25.
He said anybody permitting drunkenness or allowing
assembly of anti-social elements on the premises of liquor
establishments will also be fined up to Rs 50,000 and
imprisonment up to six months.

The Minister said certain new provisions have also been
incorporated to give more teeth to the Act.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - 22:21

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