Pune bar case: 2 excise officials suspended liquor and other materials seized


PTI, Jun 25, 2024, 12:35 PM IST

The Maharashtra excise department has suspended two of its inspector-rank officers for alleged dereliction of duty in connection with a probe into violation of rules by a bar in Pune, a senior official said on Tuesday.
The official also said they have seized 241 litres of foreign liquor and other materials valued at Rs 3 lakh from the Liquid Leisure Lounge or L3, located on the Fergusson College Road here, and suspended the bar license.
Pubs in the state’s second largest city have come into focus after a video, allegedly from L3, on Sunday showed some youth with a drug-like substance.
A police probe into the viral video has led to the arrest of eight persons, including an event organiser, and suspension of four police personnel after the L3 bar was found operating beyond the permissible time limit.
Besides, the excise department has arrested six waiters of L3 for allegedly flouting norms related to serving of liquor and its stock.
According to the police, the bar was operating till 5 am on Sunday and liquor was being sold beyond permissible time limit. Bars and pubs in Pune are allowed to remain open till 1.30 am.

An official on Tuesday said 14 regular squads and three special squads of the excise personnel have been set up to check illegal manufacturing of alcohol, its transportation and sale in Pune district.

“The state excise commissioner has suspended an inspector and a sub-inspector rank officer of the department for dereliction of duty in the case related to the Liquid Leisure Lounge,” Excise Superintendent, Pune division, Charansingh Rajput told PTI.

The official said they have seized 241 litres of foreign liquor and other materials of Rs 3 lakh and suspended the bar license for allegedly making internal changes at a permit room in the establishment.

Citing the viral video, the prosecution on Monday told a Pune court that it has emerged through social media that the accused had given narcotic-like substances to its patrons in the establishment and they want to probe the issue further.

Prima facie, it has been found the accused used social media to invite patrons to the establishment to consume narcotics substances, alcohol and smoke cigarettes, the prosecution said, adding the police want to conduct a probe further about these customers.

The police want to trace the youth as well as a minor seen in the viral video, it said in the court.

Samples have been collected from the toilet of L3 and sent for an examination to check the presence of narcotic substance, police told the court on Monday while seeking the custody of eight persons, including the bar owners and staffers.

The police also said they want to send blood samples of the arrested persons for tests to find out if they had consumed drugs.

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