The Haryana government on Saturday granted a two-month extension to its Special Enquiry Team that is probing the liquor theft scandal. The team constituted on the orders of Home Minister Anil Vij on May 11 was supposed to submit its report by May 31.
However, on the request of the team’s head IAS officer TC Gupta, the two-month extension was granted on Saturday. Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Vijai Vardhan issued the orders granting the two-month extension.
“We had asked T C Gupta as to how much time it will take to complete the enquiry and he wrote that he needs two more months,” Home Minister Anil Vij said.
One of the members of the SET, IPS officer Subhash Yadav, currently posted as ADGP (State Vigilance Bureau, Gurgaon) who is retiring on May 31, was also replaced by another IPS officer Mohd. Akil who is currently posted as Additional Director General of Police, ADGP (Headquarters). Additional Excise and Taxation Officer Vijay Singh is another member of the SET.
There were reports of theft or shortage of liquor in godowns at many places in the state during the lockdown. The SET has been asked to examine various aspects of the matter, including cases registered from March 15 to May 10 for pilferage of liquor from godowns and police stations’ malkhanas.
About 5,500 boxes of liquor which were recovered from smugglers by police and excise officials in 14 cases had disappeared from its stock in Sonipat district which had prompted the probe into the matter.
In a separate case related to theft of liquor from a godown, the police have also arrested former MLA Satvinder Rana.
Meanwhile, an accused in the liquor smuggling case registered in Sonipat in March this year has been declined anticipatory bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. A raid conducted by the authorities had found two trucks with 285 boxes of liquor — 23,280 bottles — near mobile tower Gopalpur. The police had been told that a contractor after purchasing the liquor from Punjab at cheaper rates sells the same at higher rates in Haryana to earn profits.
A single bench in the order passed on May 27 declined the pre-arrest bail to accused Satish alias Shakti, saying his name figures in the FIR itself, has been named by two co-accused and also that it was a case of heavy recovery. However, the Court in the order also gave a liberty to the accused to surrender within two weeks while asking the trial court to endeavour to dispose of his application for regular bail within ten days of the filing of such application.
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