Show-cause notices have been issued to five officials of the Excise Department, including a former Excise Collector, by the Delhi Government for issuing licences to departmental stores which were found violating norms for which they were granted licenses without fulfilling the required criteria.

The Delhi Government had earlier this month suspended liquor licenses of 115 departmental stores for flouting norms in the past six months. These stores had been granted permission for retail sale of beer andmixed alcoholic beverages in the city.

Finance Minister A.K. Walia had also ordered probe into the grant of L-53 licences to the department stores for retail sale of beer and mixed alcoholic beverages after it was found that the norms had been violated and various discrepancies were found in the adherence to rules.

The Minister had noted that in one of the cases 10 licences had been issued to a single entity and in some cases the licences were found to have been issued to departmental stores that had come up over overnight to avail of the scheme despite the rules stipulating that the stores should have been operating for at least a year to get the licence.

The Minister had also stated that show-cause notices would be issued to all departmental stores found violating the norms or granted licences without meeting the necessary requirements. The norms also stipulate that a departmental store should have a minimum of 500-square-foot area.

And while they were allowed to use only 10 per cent of the floor area for storing liquor, many of them were found violating this norm.

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