Five arrested for serving liquor illegally in Noida
The excise team recovered more than 40 pints and 20 cans of various beer brands, and four bottles of whisky and rum from the restaurant’s counter
During a surprise raid on Monday evening, the Gautam Budh Nagar excise and police team arrested five people at Chakravyuh restaurant in Sector 75’s Spectrum mall, including the restaurant manager and four waiting staff, for serving alcohol without an occasional licence.
“Acting on a tip, we raided this restaurant and discovered many sealed and empty alcohol bottles. The restaurant served liquor on tables despite not having an occasional licence,” said Rakesh Bahadur Singh, district excise officer.
The excise team recovered more than 40 pints and 20 cans of various beer brands, and four bottles of whisky and rum from the restaurant’s counter.
The excise department filed a complaint at the Sector 113 police station and booked the arrested suspects, the restaurant’s manager, Aruj Singh Sandhu, and waiting staff Jagdish Singh, Vikas, Pintu Jha, and Dinesh Chandra, under relevant sections of the Excise Act.
“We usually have an occasional licence for all Saturday and Sunday evenings and we usually do not need to serve liquor on weekdays,” said Pankaj Bisht, the restaurant’s manager, adding, “We will speak with the officials and correct the situation by paying the appropriate penalty. We’re also looking into getting a permanent licence.”
When a restaurant does not have an annual licence or does not serve liquor on a regular basis, they will typically apply for a daily occasional licence.
According to officials, an occasional licence to serve liquor at any venue costs ₹11,000 per day. Any manager, staff member, or even a guest can make this application by paying the fee online, and it is usually granted within 24 hours. However, when a pub, bar, or restaurant applies for a permanent liquor licence, they must pay an annual fee of ₹15 lakh.
Explaining the process to approve a liquor licence, Singh said, “The district bar committee approves applications for a permanent liquor licence after the applicant gets approvals from the administration and police. The excise commissioner then approves the application. The entire process usually takes a month.”
Noida has 103 licensed pubs and bars. Officials said that even though the fiscal year is about to end, and despite several brands being available at half the usual price due to Delhi’s relaxed liquor policy for more than five months, revenue this year is already higher than in previous years.
Though it is illegal to transport alcohol across borders, many Noida residents purchased liquor from Delhi between April and August 2022. The alcohol rates in Delhi are significantly lower than those in Uttar Pradesh. In addition to the low prices, Delhi offered ‘buy1+get1’ deals on many alcohol brands between April and August of last year. This had a significant impact on Uttar Pradesh’s excise revenue in districts close to Delhi, such as Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad.