Insight Online News
Chandigarh, May 29 : The Excise Department in Punjab has carried out a massive statewide checking and monitoring operation in liquor bars, and took action against the violators.
Excise and Taxation Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said on Sunday this special drive, named ‘Night Sweep’, was launched to check the menace of smoking hookahs and other illegal activities in bars, pubs and restaurants.
He said more than 13 teams swung into action on Saturday night under the direct supervision of Financial Commissioner Taxation Vikas Partap and Excise Commissioner Varun Roojam.
He said in Mohali district’s Nayagaon area, restaurant ‘I love Hot shot’ was found serving ‘hookahs’ to its customers for smoking along with beer which was meant for sale in Chandigarh only, thereby violating various provisions of law.
During the search, 20 hookahs, seven bottles of beer, various tobacco flavours and charcoal were confiscated. A case has been registered against owners of the restaurant under various provisions of the Punjab Excise Act 1914, the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act 2003, the Poison Act 1919 and Indian Penal Code in Nayagaon.
In addition, in the Bestech Mall in Sector 66 in Mohali three bars — ‘Burj’ (W White Hospitality), ‘Skull’ (Friend’s Hospitality) and ‘Mask Lounge & Bars’ — were found carrying out their operations beyond permitted timings.
Resultantly, the penal action has been initiated against these violating bars.
He said in Amritsar bar ‘Peddlers Bar’ was found operating beyond permitted time limit and was also serving the liquor to persons below 25 years of age.
During the search of the bar, 17 bottles of non-duty paid liquor and five bottles of expired beer was found which were confiscated on the spot.
Similarly, in Jalandhar bar ‘Peddlers’ was found operating beyond permitted time limit.
The minister said the excise teams on the ground were led by the Additional Commissioner (Excise) Naresh Dubey and AIG (Excise) Gurjot Singh Kler along with other senior officers of the department.
“Officers of the Health Department were also roped in. Each team had at least one woman officer and one Health department’s representative in it,” he added.
Highlighting the significance of operation Night Sweep, minister Cheema said the operation was aimed at the checking of smoking of hookahs at bars and restaurants considering the detrimental effects of smoking these hookahs on health, which contains harmful substances such as nicotine, known to be carcinogenic.
IANS / AGENCY