In a first, people can now buy seized liquor at 25 per cent cheaper prices than prevailing market rates as the Delhi government has issued an order to sell such liquor. The liquor can be identified through a label on the bottle – “Authorized confiscated liquor”.
A government official told media that foreign and Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) liquor, seized during raids by excise and police officials, will be sold only after testing its quality in affiliated laboratories within seven days of seizure. Until now, seized liquor was destroyed after completing legal formalities in presence of government officials.
According to Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the excise department, each of four corporations (government agencies) will designate at least two vends one for foreign liquor and one for IMFL through which the seized liquor can be sold. The official said Delhi would be first city where seized liquor will not be destroyed. In the first phase, eight vends will be allowed to sell seized liquor.
As per rough estimates, over 2.5 lakh bottles of liquor are seized by excise department every year. In the 2018-19 financial year, liquor worth Rs 15 crore had been seized. The seized liquor includes those smuggled from Haryana and neighbouring states where it is available at a cheaper rate and from bars and restaurants serving alcohol without permit.
The SOP said the label of confiscated liquor will be checked to confirm its registration in states concerned. “If the label of contraband is already approved by excise department concerned that is to say available in the market then it will be confirmed for disposal through L-6 licensees (liquor vends). “Otherwise, the said liquor will be destroyed even though fit for human consumption,” the excise department said.
According to government, the excise assistant commissioner (confiscation) will issue an order for sale of seized liquor only after confirmation of label, other relevant records and “fit for consumption certificate” from labs.
If lab report confirms that seized liquor is not fit for human consumption, the assistant commissioner will then issue the order of its destruction. There are four corporations, including Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation and Delhi Consumer’s Cooperative Wholesale Store – which sell liquor.
Private liquor vends are only allowed in malls and commercial centres in the national capital. “The corporations will ensure that seized liquor bottles being allowed to be sold should have a label of ‘authorised confiscated liquor, MRP and for sale in Delhi only’,” another government official said.
The seized liquor will be collected by corporations concerned from police station or any other place where the liquor is lying in the presence of excise inspector.
“If any breakage or difference in quantity is found, the same shall be reported by the corporation and duly verified by the excise inspector,” the SOP stated.
The delivery orders will be issued after adjusting the breakage and difference in items by the assistant commissioner, it said.