The ‘malkhanas’ in police stations will no longer be required to stock large amounts of liquor seized in various cases as the new Excise Bill that is expected to be introduced in the next session of the Delhi Assembly has done away with the need for producing such seized liquor for securing conviction of the accused.
The need for the provision was felt as the ‘malkhanas’ in police stations were found to be full of liquor. Since during trial, non-production of such liquor used to vitiate the trial, the need for necessary changes in the Act was felt so that there was no bar on conviction of the accused due to non-production of such liquor.
Another related change suggested is that earlier under Section 53 of the Punjab Excise Act it was mandatory for the Station House Office to affix his seal on all the samples of seized liquor along with seals of the investigating officers. But since this was not practical, many times the accused used to get acquitted because the seal of the SHO was not there. But now this clause is proposed to be deleted.
To make the law more stringent against violators, it has also been stated that manufacturers of liquor may now be arrayed as an accused along with other offenders if the court feels that their involvement is there. Also, while earlier only making illegal liquor was seen as a non-bailable offence, now all those offences that entail a punishment of two years have been made non-bailable.
The new proposal would also seek to remove restrictions placed on employment of women in the sale of liquor.