The state excise department in Pune has issued 2 lakh permits for liquor consumption on New Year’s eve, with the number expected to increase. Restaurants and bars have been permitted to extend their closing hours till 5 am. The department has also seized liquor worth over ₹1 crore and filed 233 cases in December.
The state excise department, Pune division, has issued 2 lakh permits so far for consumption of liquor for one-day bash on New Year’s eve. It has received 39 applications till Friday for one-day bash licence for December 31. Authorities expect the figure to go up till Sunday afternoon deadline.
YS Shinde, deputy superintendent, state excise department, said the final count may possibly reach 100 for single day party events in the city by Sunday. To serve liquor even for a day during a party, organisers require special permit, which the state excise department issues ahead of year-end.
CB Rajput, superintendent, state excise department, Pune division, said restaurants and bars have been permitted to extend their closing hours till 5am, beyond their regular timings of 11.30 pm in rural areas and 1.30 am in urban spaces. Wine and foreign liquor shops are allowed to stay open till 1 am, in contrast to their usual deadline till 10.30pm. Country liquor stores can stay open till 1am, going beyond their usual closing time of 11 pm in urban areas and 10 pm in rural areas.
Foreign liquor worth ₹5.8 lakh seized
Officials of state excise department, Pune division on Thursday raided three premises at Bibwewadi and Katraj and seized 53 boxes containing 828 sealed bottles of 180ml and 417 sealed bottles of 750ml foreign liquor illegally sold in Maharashtra after transporting it from Goa. A two-wheeler and a mobile phone were also seized, and the total worth of goods is ₹5.85 lakh, according to release issued by the state excise department.
This year, from April to December, the department has recorded 2,522 cases of illegal sale of liquor, acted against 2,627 suspects, seized 347 vehicles and liquor worth ₹14,13,38,788. In 2022, the total cases registered were 1,727, with 1,885 suspects, while 192 vehicles were seized along with liquor stock worth ₹11,01,08,705.
Officials said habitual offenders have been issued 190 bonds by the executive magistrate of Bombay High Court in 2023 and 51 bonds in 2022 as surety for their good behaviour.
Liquor worth ₹1 crore seized in Dec
The state excise department, Pune division, on Friday claimed to have seized liquor worth over ₹1 crore and 35 vehicles, besides filing 233 cases across the district in December. During a recent operation, the department sleuths intercepted a consignment of 1,250 bottles of liquor estimated to be worth ₹5 lakh in Bibvewadi and arrested three persons. Ahead of the New Year’s celebrations, a special squad comprising 17 officers and 50 members with additional 150 staff have been deployed across the district, officials said.
“Our main objective is monitoring suspicious vehicles,” said Charan Singh Rajput, superintendent, state excise department, Pune. He said that as part of the regulatory measures, more than 50 one-day permits have been issued to hotels in the district allowing extension of operating hours until 5 am.