CHANDIGARH POLICE has started charging people, caught for drinking in public, under Section 68-1(B) of Punjab Police Act, 2007, and Section 510 of IPC instead of arresting them under various sections of the Excise Act, which were being used for a long time in Chandigarh. The practice was started from October 9.
The development came after the quashing of an FIR registered against Punjab Police DSP Raka Gira, for possessing liquor bottles without valid permission. The Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed the FIR citing, “The police authorities of UT/CBI which lodged the FIR against the petitioner (Raka Gira) and filed the challan and is prosecuting the petitioner is sans any authority of law and the authority clearly was with the Excise Officer provided by the amended Act and not with the respondent police department.” The orders were passed by Justice AB Chaudhari on July 31.
Section 68-1(B) of Punjab Police Act states that a person, being found intoxicant and riotous at any public place, be liable to imprisonment for a term, not exceeding one month or with a fine of not less than Rs 1,000 or with both. Section 510 of IPC states that misconduct in public by a person, who, in a state of intoxication, appears in any public place, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term, which may extend to 24 hours or with fine which may extend to Rs 10, or with both.
UT SSP Nilambri Vijay Jagdale told Chandigarh Newsline, “As per the directions of Punjab and Haryana High Court, we stopped arresting people under Section 68/1/14 of Excise Act because only excise officers are capable of taking action against people under these sections. The matter was discussed in the law department of the police and we started applying Section 68-1 (B) of Punjab Police Act and Section 510 of IPC.”
The practice of arresting people caught for drinking in public under Punjab Police Act and Section 510 of IPC was started in Chandigarh since October 9. Police said 38 people have arrested for consuming alcohol at different places in Chandigarh since October 9 and all of them were released on regular bail. On Tuesday night, about 20 people were arrested from various places in Chandigarh.