On a day Karnataka recorded alcohol sales worth Rs 45 crore as lockdown restrictions eased, at least two customer bills — each exceeding Rs 50,000 in value — went viral on social media, prompting the state excise department to book a Bengaluru vendor for violating licence rules.
Retail outlets are not allowed to sell more than 2.3 litres of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) or 18.2 litres of beer to a customer per day.
Excise Deputy Commissioner (Bengaluru South) Giri J told indianexpress.com that an FIR was filed against Vanilla Spirit Zone, located in Tavarekere Main Road, where liquor worth Rs 52,841 was purchased by a customer.
“Prima facie, we have found a violation of the license condition mandated by the Excise Department to retailers. According to the bill, 17.4 litres IMFL and 35.7 litres of beer have been sold to an individual. An FIR has been filed under the Karnataka Excise Act (Chapter VII, rule 36),” he said.
“The retailer claims that the purchase was made by 8 people together but the same was billed together as the payment was made from a single ATM/debit card. The investigation is now underway and further action will be taken accordingly,” the Deputy Commissioner (Excise) added.
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) May 4, 2020
The Karnataka Excise Department Sunday booked a case against an alcohol vendor in Bengaluru after the liquor bill of Rs 52,841 went viral on the first day of alcohol sales since lockdown restrictions were lifted.
Excise department officials added that they are trying to trace the buyer. “As part of the investigation, we will trace the buyer and question him on this purchase,” the official said.
Another liquor bill of Rs 95,347 surfaced on social media on Monday from an outlet in Bengaluru’s Dollars Colony.
Excise officials said that all such cases will be looked into and violators will be heavily penalised for compromising their license norms.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Excise Department confirmed that liquor worth Rs 45 crore was sold on Sunday.
This included a total of 8.5 lakh litre Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and 3.9 lakh litre beer sold between 9 am and 7 pm on May 4, according to the statement.
Earlier on Monday, Bengaluru and other parts of the state had witnessed long queues throughout the operating hours of alcohol retail outlets.