From installing CCTV cameras to introducing track-and-trace mechanism to monitor entire movement of vehicles carrying liquor across the state to installation of GPS chips in the vehicles carrying liquor, the Special Enquiry Team has made several recommendations to fix anomalies on part of the excise and police department officials in dealing with the cases pertaining to movement of liquor across Haryana. The SET has also said that these recommendations should be implemented within three months.
“Excise department should devise a system for tracking and tracing the vehicles carrying liquor destined for other states/ UT through Haryana to ensure consignments meant for sale in other states are not illegally offloaded in the state. Besides being an illegal activity, punishable on being detected, it also impacts the excise revenue of the state as instead of legal quota, illegal quota also gets available to consumers through such smugglers,” the SET report said.
It added: “Detailed SoP for installation of CCTV cameras in distilleries and other liquor godowns, detailing specification of equipments, operation and maintenance, procedure for streaming, storage and monitoring of CCTV footage and action to be taken regarding any violation, should be issued by the excise department. Responsibility at all levels should be clearly specified.”
To monitor manufacturing of liquor, SET has recommended that “Electronic tamper-proof flow meters of high grade should be installed at all taps of storage tanks in manufactories. Excise department should explore possibility of installing GPS tracking system on vehicles carrying liquor consignments from manufactories/ wholesalers. Manufactories may be thoroughly audited to rule out any possibility of pilferage and possible leakage of revenue”.
The SET has also highlighted several loopholes in the training and functioning of excise officials. “Training of excise officials for detection of illegal liquor, its investigation and the court process should be periodically organised by excise department”.
It has recommended that to avoid any pilferage or theft of seized liquor, “destruction of seized liquor should be expedited. Timeline till December 31, 2020 should be set for finalisation of pending liquor-theft/ smuggling cases and destruction of seized liquor”.
To avoid any re-occurrence of theft of seized liquor from private godowns where it is stored, the SET has recommended that “sufficient provision for storage of seized liquor should be made at every district headquarter and a proper system of case-wise, brand/size wise and batch wise recording of seized liquor stored in godowns should be devised”.
Arguing that “in case of recovery of large quantity of illegal liquor, there is high likelihood of organised crime by large cartels, the SET says that in such cases, “tracing of source through batch numbers/ labels, lab reports etc is very important”.
“A team of Excise officers and police officials be constituted at district headquarters to examine cases of detection of large quantity of illegal liquor, say recovery of more than 100 cases of liquor and submit its fact finding report on every such case to the designated senior officers of police and excise department,” it has said in its report.