Chandigarh, Mar 17 (PTI) Action has been taken against those found involved in theft of liquor from the recovered stock stored in a temporary warehouse in Sonipat about three years ago, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala told the assembly on Friday.
Dushyant Chautala, who holds the excise portfolio, was replying to a calling attention motion moved in the assembly by lone INLD member Abhay Singh Chautala.
The INLD leader had sought to know the status of the SET constituted to investigate the liquor scam in the state during Covid-induced lockdown period in 2020.
Abhay Chautala also demanded that "SET report should be tabled and made public, which has not been done so far... A vigilance bureau's team was also constituted that too had submitted its report. Why hasn't that report also been made public?".
"...What is government trying to hide in the matter?" he asked.
In May 2020, the government had constituted a Special Enquiry Team (SET) under senior IAS officer T C Gupta to enquire into the matter of theft of huge stock of liquor from the recovered stock stored in the temporary warehouse at Kharkhoda-Matindo road in Sonipat district.
In July 2020, the SET submitted its report to the government for taking appropriate action against the individuals.
Dushyant Chautala informed the House that action has been taken against the culprits.
He said that appropriate action has been recommended against the officers and employees for various lapses mentioned in the report.
Besides this, the investigation of this entire matter was given to the State Vigilance Bureau (now Anti-Corruption Bureau), he said.
Dushyant Chautala said a committee was also constituted under the chairmanship of Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Kalaramachandran.
In this, the irregularities and failures of the police department were investigated. On the basis of this report, departmental action was taken against 27 police personnel in 14 cases, he said.
Dushyant Chautala said action was also taken by the excise and taxation department on the basis of investigation, in which seven assistant excise and taxation officers and 1 AETO has been charge sheeted.
He said 15 excise inspectors have also been chargesheeted for issuing permits and passes during the Covid-induced lockdown period. The departmental proceedings against them are underway, Dushyant Chautala said.
The deputy chief minister said that several steps have been taken to prevent the loss of revenue due to the sale of illegal liquor and to improve the system of the department.
He informed that a state-of-the-art CCTV camera system has been installed in all distilleries and bottling plants in the state, as well as an integrated control room has been set up at the department headquarters.
The live feed from these cameras is being made available at the headquarters as well as district level, he said.
He said it has been made mandatory to install mass flow metres in distilleries and bottling plants. Necessary amendments in the distillery rules have been made in this regard, Dushyant Chautala said Instructions have been issued to ensure that vehicles used for transportation of liquor are fitted with GPS devices, the deputy chief minister said.
He informed that liquor shops are being regularly checked by the department to prevent illegal sales.
However, abhay Chautala appeared dissatisfied with Dushyant Chautala's reply and accused the state government of "shielding" those found involved in the scam. PTI SUN VSD ANB ANB