Govt cracks whip on errant vends | india | Hindustan Times
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Govt cracks whip on errant vends

india Updated: Mar 29, 2011 23:50 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

Two days after Hindustan Times reported how liquor was being sold round-the-clock in Gurgaon, where even an eight-year-old can easily buy booze, the city authority on Tuesday began a massive crackdown against erring shop owners.

The excise department initiated an inquiry against liquor shop owners and is planning to impose heavy penalty if the shops sell alcoholic drinks to children and keep counters open beyond business hours.

An official said the department may even cancel the licences of such shops.

The department has called a meeting of bars and liquor shop owners and asked them to put display boards giving statutory warning that sale and serving liquor to underage persons is banned.

According to the norm, shops are not allowed to sell liquor to anyone below 21 years of age.

HS Sharma, deputy excise and taxation commissioner of Gurgaon, called the news report an "eye opener".

"We are going to act very tough this time. If found guilty, we would not only slap heavy penalties on these shop owners, we may even cancel their licences," Sharma said.

He said the department had earlier fined a liquor trader Rs 2 lakh for violating the norm.

"We also slapped penalty of Rs 80,000 on a pub in Sahara Mall where school students were found having liquor," he added.