After hooch tragedy, govt mulling to amend law

Mumbai, Jun 22: In order to stop the production and sale of illicit liquor, Maharashtra government is considering a proposal to amend the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders and Dangerous Persons Act (MPDA).

Read more: Mumbai hooch tragedy soars to 66

Excise Minister Eknath Khadse told reporters that the government is considering a proposal to amend the act in which stringent action will be proposed against production and sale of illicit liquor.

Hooch tragedy: Govt mulling to amend law

"At present, police take action against spurious liquor production, but stringent action is required," he said. Khadse said just like provisions of MCOCA and MPDA were invoked against the sand mafia earlier, the government is seriously mulling invoking the provisions in the production of illicit liquor.

"Action would include seizure of equipment and sealing of the premises. Since January this year, 117 raids have been conducted in Malad and nearby areas in suburban Mumbai. Several people have been arrested. But, they have been let off on bail of Rs 2,000. The need of the hour is to make stringent laws," he said.

"We will make provision to ensure that those involved in illicit liquor trade do not get bail for a year. The proposal would be brought in the Cabinet by the Home Department and Excise Department would support it," he said.

Similarly, there are demands for prohibition in different parts of the state, including temple towns of Pandharpur and Tuljapur, Nagpur and Yavatmal, he said. "A policy decision will be needed to be taken in the Cabinet," he said.

To a question on the hooch tragedy in suburban Malad in which 99 people have died so far, Khadse said the state government has provided assistance to the families of victims on humanitarian grounds.


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