Kohima, May 27 UNI | 2 months ago

The Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) has discovered large scale pilferage of IMFL and assorted liquor by the department officials.

In a statement The ACAUT said the State Excise department had been accused of "diverting huge quantity of IMFL into the black market", which runs in terms of "tens of lakhs" of rupees.

According to ACAUT members, they had been at the receiving end of numerous "public complaints" alleging the State Excise Department of not "totally destroying" the seized liquor during their periodical destruction exercise.

The ACAUT members consisting of Co-chairperson Joel Nillo Kath, RTI Cell Convener Dr Khekukha Meru, Finance Convener Hokivi Chishi, Grievances Cell convener Hetoi Chishi among others, paid an unannounced visit to a destruction exercise of the Dimapur district Excise cell, to ascertain the veracity of the public complaints.

During their visit they unearthed a potential wide-scale scam within the state excise, which one of the ACAUT members called as "blatant corruption, as far as the ACAUT is concerned."

"ACAUT Nagaland team on reaching the premises found discrepancies in the number of bottles and cases brought from Excise Malkhana or godown. DUCCCF Vice-President asked the Excise officials to stop the process. Regardless of the opinion rendered, the officials went ahead with the destruction. The Commissioner of Excise broke the first bottle. This was a deliberate ploy to destroy any evidences of discrepancies," the statement from the ACAUT media cell said.

The ACAUT members had earlier produced to newspersons an official order released by the Commissioner of Excise, sanctioning the destruction of 85,064 bottles and cans of assorted IMFL to be carried on May 26.

Then ACAUT said a total case of IMFL and beer to be destroyed was 85,064 bottles and cans as per the Excise Commissioner Order 4,448 cases.

However, the actual number of cases destroyed was 2,394 cases or in other words 2,054 cases of IMFL and beer were missing.

The counting was done by ACAUT members in the presence of independent media represented by Doordarshan and local media houses and excise officials.

"If the count is by the number of bottles destroyed the percentage of cases destroyed given could be much lower since some of the cases had missing bottles of IMFL and beer," the statement said.

Meanwhile, the unmasked Commissioner of Excise Maongwati Aier yesterday took strong exceptions to the act of 'a group of NGOs" coming to the Excise's destruction exercise and conducting a check "without any prior approval" on Government property.

Talking to newspersons inside his office chamber, Mr Aier said," the situation could have worsened had the State Excise reacted to this act of unlawful intrusion by the group of NGOs. But we are all Nagas, so decided to leave it at that, he said.

(Posted on 28-05-2014)