In what will deflate the spirits of liquor traffickers, for carrying two bottles of liquor amid poll restrictions, booze lovers had to pay 2 lakh to the excise and taxation department here as penalty.
After they had paid the fine, the men were released and given back their car. “On Sunday (April 13), a static surveillance team formed under the Election Commission of India (ECI) guidelines flagged down this private vehicle with a Chandigarh registration number and seized 4 litres of alcohol, including two bottles of an Indian whisky brand, from inside,” excise and taxation officer Chander Mehta said here on Wednesday.
The alcohol was seized near SYL Canal at Chuni village. The stickers on the bottles suggested that the liquor was meant for sale in Chandigarh. The men in the car told the excise department that they were from Lehragaga (Sangrur) and the two bottles were a gift from relatives in Chandigarh, where they had gone to distribute wedding cards.
They also claimed being unaware of the ECI restrictions on the movement of alcohol until the votes are counted. On the orders of executive magistrate DS Bedi, a fine was claimed. Excise and taxation commissioner Magnesh Sethi said the department could even lodge a case under the Excise Act.