The commissioner of excise has issued a show cause notice to the Maharashtra police officials who were involved in illegally carrying liquor worth 90,000, at Patradevi checkpoint in Pernem on March 14 as to why the seized liquor and vehicle shouldn't be attached.
According to the notice issued to the accused- API Shivaji Raut, in-charge of the team, ASI Balu Gosavi, Suresh Thakaji Wagh and seven other head constables and constables, driver and the owner of the bus - they violated the provisions of Section 4, Section 5, Section 8 read with Rule 19 of Goa Excise Duty Act and Rules, 1964.
The show cause notice states as to why the action as per the Goa Excise Duty Act and Rules, 1964, should not be initiated against the police personnel and why the mini bus and liquor should not be confiscated in favour of the Goa government. The matter is now fixed for hearing by the commissioner of excise for April 13. The commissioner of excise will decide what is to be done with the seized liquor and if the mini bus is to be confiscated and auctioned.
A mini bus belonging to Nasir Junmohd Lakhani, a Mumbai-resident, proceeding to Maharashtra was detained at the Patradevi check post on March 14 by the Goa police for carrying unauthorized liquor. Police said there were 500 bottles of whisky of different brands being transported without the excise department's permission. The police said the detainees were police on escort duty to a Reserve Bank of India cash container bringing cash to banks in Goa. They were returning to Mumbai in the bus hired by the RBI.
The police, having carried out all the formalities handed over the bus and the seized liquor along with the detained police officials and the driver of the bus to the excise sub-inspector on the same night at around 9.30pm at the check post and washed off their hands saying it was a case to be looked after by the excise.
Sources in the excise department said that the case should have been handed over at the excise office at Pernem and not to the sub- inspector at the check post.
Pernem excise took custody of only the excisable goods. In a dilemma as to who is authorized to investigate the case and what role each department ( police and excise) plays, the alleged accused were released and went to Mumbai before any inquiry.