The state excise department is working out modalities for setting up a dedicated lab at their directorate in Ranchi for testing liquor seized during raids to ascertain if they are spurious in nature.

The department, as of now, doesn’t have any dedicated lab of its own for testing seized liquor and has to rely on other agencies, which is often time consuming and also pose problems to legally prosecute culprits.

Confirming the department’s plan, joint excise commissioner Gajendra Singh on Sunday said, “If all goes well, in another one month’s time, we should be able to have our full fledged lab at our directorate for testing of liquor. This will help the department for timely testing of the liquor for taking appropriate action (against accused).”

Sources said at present, the department sends seized samples to Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Ranchi or to authorized government labs in neighbouring states. “But it is often a time-taking process which delays probe,” said a source.

“The existing lab is only for quality checks of the bottling manufacturing units but for testing seized samples, government has to issue a notification authorizing it for legal testing. Only then, the samples tested there will stand in the court of law during litigations. We are in the process of upgrading the existing lab and ground work is underway for government (excise department) to come up with a formal notification. We are anticipating that a month’s time it will be done,” he said.
Sale of spurious and illegal liquor is a menace in Jharkhand even though the state excise department and police have been regularly carrying out raids.

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