Patna HC asks GST Dept, Police & Chief Secretary to Submit Report on Action against Smuggling & Manufacture of Liquor [Read Order]

Patna High Court - GST department - Police - Chief Secretary - Report - Smuggling - Manufacture - Liquor - Taxscan

While considering a bail application of persons arrested in relation with a matter of illegal import of foreign liquor, has directed the GST department, Police and Chief Secretary of the State to file a detailed report on the steps taken for the effective implementation of Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 in order to prevent smuggling and manufacture of liquor within the State.

The petitioners, who are in custody since 26.12.2021, seek regular bail in connection with Excise Case No. 358 of 2021 dated 25.12.2021 registered for offences punishable under Sections 30(a), 32(3) of the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Amendment Act 2018.

The petitioners submits that the driver of the truck and the other two persons arrested are relatives of and they had no knowledge about the illicit liquor being loaded on the above truck. Petitioner no.1 was directed to deliver certain GST goods for which he was carrying all the relevant documents including the E-Way bills to the respective consignee located in the district of Muzaffarpur from Delhi.

The A.P.P. represented the State has opposed the prayer for grant of bail to the petitioners. He submits that the trade of illicit liquor is rampant in the State of Bihar. In spite of complete prohibition in the State, due to consumption of illicit liquor, people at large are dying every day and they are suffering from various physical disorder, as such it would not be in the public interest to release the petitioners on bail.

Justice Purnendu Singh has observed that “In view of the fact that Muzaffarpur district has become the den of the smugglers of illicit liquor, the complicity of the consignor, the consignee and the transporter cannot be denied.”

While disposing the petition, the Court held that “The I.G., Prohibition is directed to submit a report before this Court giving reasons for their failure to manufacturing and smuggling of foreign liquor in the State of Bihar in general and, particularly, in the District of Muzaffarpur. He is further directed to submit a report with respect to action taken against the excise officials, who have failed to stop pilferage of liquor within their jurisdiction inside the State of Bihar in general and sale of the same in an organized manner in the district of Gopalganj in particular.”

“Superintendent of Police, Gopalganj is directed to submit a report to the Commissioner, Commercial Taxes giving details of the manufacturer of different brands of foreign liquor along with the details of the consignor and the consignee as per the E-Way Bills generated with respect to the truck bearing Registration No. DL1GC-2325,” the order said.

The Court further directed the Chief Secretary, Bihar to submit a detailed action taken report with respect to the steps taken for implementation of the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 in its true spirit as well as the steps taken by him against the excise officials particularly in the Gopalganj district, who have failed to stop smuggling and manufacturing of liquor.

Concluding the order, the Court granted bail to the petitioners with conditions.

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RAHUL YADAV vs The State of Bihar

Counsel for Appellant:   Mr. Mukesh Kumar

Counsel for Respondent:   Mr. Ajit Kumar

CITATION:   2022 TAXSCAN (HC) 490

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