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Haryana

9 teams to check online sale, doorstep delivery of liquor

October 23, 2020 07:39 AM

COURTESY HT OCT 23

9 teams to check online sale, doorstep delivery of liquor

Officials said that the Haryana Excise Act prohibits online sale or doorstep delivery of liquor. SANT ARORA/ REPRESENTATIONAL PHOTO
Leena Dhankhar

leena.dhankhar@htlive.com

Gurugram : The Gurugram excise and taxation department on Thursday formed nine teams to check the online sale and home delivery of liquor after having received numerous complaints from the residents.

The officials said they have received complaints from locals of Sohna Road, Golf Course Road and Extension Road areas, wherein they claimed liquor is being delivered in societies, said officials.

Aruna Singh, deputy excise and taxation officer (DETC), east, said that currently, the Haryana Excise Act prohibits online sale of liquor, which effectively means that no liquor shops can deliver alcohol at doorstep of residents. “Online sales or doorstep delivery of liquor is a violation of the excise act and anyone found indulging in it can lose their excise licence,” she said.

The excise officials also issued warnings to liquor vends on Thursday asking them not to indulge in any such activity as it could lead to loss of their liquor licences. The officials also asked teams to approach resident welfare associations and coordinate with them to ensure that there is no home delivery of liquor. The excise officials said that legal action will be taken against liquor vend owners if they are found promoting their shops on social media platforms and offering home deliveries.

Gurugram has 284 liquor shops, of which six are owned by Haryana Tourism Corporation and rest 278 are owned by private individuals and enterprises.

“Many people prefer ordering online liquor without realizing it can be spurious and dangerous for their health. We will be sending advisories to resident welfare associations to ensure no liquor deliveries are allowed at doorstep,” Singh said.

Singh said some liquor vends have created pages on social media platforms and are advertising the sale of liquor and offering free home delivery. “We have written to police to get these pages checked so that we the details of everyone involved in this illegal practice,” she said.

The Haryana government, on March 26, had temporarily shut down all liquor vends across the state as part of its preventive measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. The shops were reopened on May 6.

Excise officials said since the lockdown began, bootleggers started taking advantage of the situation and started delivering spurious liquor. They purchased empty bottles from scrap dealers and filled them with low quality liquor.

The officials said they had reached out to at least three online sellers on Thursday afternoon and their pages were flagged to the police.

“There are several online sellers active on social media. We have written to the police and have shared the screenshots of the pages to take legal action against them for trading liquor online. We have even contacted them on the mobile phone numbers mentioned on the pages,” Singh said, adding the police are yet to identify the culprits.

KK Rao, commissioner of police, said that they have arrested nine men in the last two months who had duped the residents by taking advance online payment on the pretext of delivering liquor to them. “People easily fall into traps of “liquor home delivery” advertisements posted on social media platforms and lose money to these conmen,” he said.

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