THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Alcohol and Drug Information Centre-India (ADIC) has accused the Excise Department of taking the public for a ride with blown-up enforcement figures.
Though the department was not designated to deal with offences under Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), it charged 41,453 COTPA violations between April 2015 and November 2016, ADIC-India director Johnson Edayaranmula said in a statement.
Interestingly, the government order empowering the department to handle COTPA violations was issued only on December 27, 2016. Based on it the Excise Commissioner released a departmental circular on January 18, he said. “A legal situation has now risen with regard to the 41,453 COTPA violations earlier booked by the Excise Department. Disciplinary action should be taken against those who were responsible for creating such a situation,” he said.
While the Excise Department claims to have registered 59,994 cases from January to November 2016, 59.75 per cent (35,842) of these were for COTPA violations. Only 35.97 per cent (21,576) were under Abkari Act and 4.28 per cent (2,566) under NDPS Act, he said. In reality, narcotic offences registered by the department were only 2,566 out of the total 59,994 cases, he said.