OTHER SOCIAL SERVICES
PROHIBITION AND EXCISE DEPARTMENT
The prohibition policy of the Government aims at higher moral, ethical and economic standards and achievement of peaceful living conditions in the society. To implement this policy the Bombay Prohibition Act was passed in 1949 which was extended to Amravati district from April 1, 1959. The Act prohibits production, possession, export, import, transport, sale, consumption and use of all intoxicants except as permitted by any rules and orders. However, prohibition existed in Amravati district even before the application of this Act. It was governed under the Central Provinces and Berar Prohibition Act, 1938.
Total prohibition was introduced in Amravati district excepting the Melghat tahsil from October 1. 1946. It was extended to the Melghat tahsil from April 1, 1957, under the Central Provinces and Berar Prohibition Act, 1938, which was in force in the district till 31st March, 1959. The Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949 (XXV of 1949) was extended to Amravati district from April 1. 1959. The Collector of the district is responsible for the administration of Prohibition and Excise Department in the district. In relation to this Department he is responsible to the Director of Prohibition and Excise, Maharashtra State. Bombay. He is invested with powers under the Bombay Prohibition Act (XXV of 1949) and also exercises powers under the Dangerous Drugs Act (II of 1930) and the Bombay Opium Smoking Act (XX of 1936). Under the Bombay Prohibition Act. prohibition or restrictions have been placed on the manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, possession, use and consumption of liquor, intoxicating drugs or hemp, mhowra flowers and molasses and of articles containing liquor, intoxicating drugs or hemp. The Collector has powers to grant, cancel or suspend licences, permits and passes under the Act.
The District Inspector of Prohibition and Excise, Amravati. assists the Collector and is in actual charge of the work of the department in the district. Under him there are three Sub-Inspectors of Prohibition and Excise for executive work. One Sub-Inspector of Prohibition and Excise has been appointed to supervise the work pertaining to foreign liquor vendors' licences. The Sub-Inspectors of Prohibition and Excise have also been invested with certain powers under the Prohibition Act, the Dangerous Drugs Act and the Bombay Opium Smoking Act,
PROHIBITION AND EXCISE. Medical Boards.
In each tahsil or a mahal a medical board has been constituted
consisting of the Government Medical Officer or Government
Assistant Medical Officer, respectively. it there is no such
officer in the tahsil or mahal, the nearest Government Medical Officer or Government Assistant Medical Officer functions as a Medical Board. The function of the Medical Board is to examine medically any person who applies for a permit to possess opium, ganja or bhang for personal consumption and who is directed by the Collector or an authorised officer in this behalf to appear before the Medical Board. On examination the Medical Board has to issue a medical certificate specifying the disease the applicant is suffering from, the drug recom mended for personal consumption as medical necessity and the quantity of the drug which may be permitted per month for personal consumption. The Profesor of Medicine. Medical College, Nagpur, constitutes a panel of the Maharashtra (Drugs Permits) Medical Board for the Nagpur Division. The Director of Prohibition and Excise, Maharashtra State, Bombay, either suo motu or on an application made to him by an applicant or permit holder, may refer any case or point to the panel concerned for consideration. The panel can either confirm, modify or reverse the decision of the Medical Board.
The Police Department is the chief agency that deals with
detection, investigation and prosecution of offences under the Prohibition Act. Though Officers of the Prohibition and Excise department of and above the rank of Sub-Inspector have been invested with powers to investigate offences, these officers generally pass on information of the commission of offences and hand over the cases detected by them to the police for investigation. Under section 134 of the Prohibition Act, village officers, village servants, officers of other departments of the State Government and officers and servants of local authorities are bound to give information to the police of breaches of the provisions of the Act which may come to their knowledge and also to prevent the commission of breaches of the provisions of the Act about which they may have knowledge. Under Section 133, officers and servants of local authorities are also bound to assist any police officer or person authorised to carry out the provisions of the Act. Under Section 135, occupiers of lands and buildings, landlords of estates, owners of vehicles, etc., are bound to give notice of any illicit tapping of trees or manufacture of liquor or intoxicating drug to a magistrate, a prohibition officer or a police officer as soon they come to know of it.
All revenue officers of and above the rank of Mamlatdar or Mahalkari, all Magistrates, and all officers of the Department of Prohibition and Excise of and above the rank of Sub-Inspector have been authorised, under Section 123 of the Prohibition Act, within the limits of their respective jurisdictions, to arrest without a warrant any person whom they have reason to believe to be guilty of an offence under the Act, and to seize and detain any articles of contraband. The Officer so authorised, when
arrests any person or seizes and detains any articles, has to forward such person or articles, within reasonable time, to the officer
in charge of the nearest police station.
Effects of Prohibition.
Total Prohibition was introduced in Amravati district from October 1, 1946. The department reported a considerable fall in the consumption of all kinds of drugs for the years from 1946 to
The revenue for these years also registered a substantial fall.
Kinds of Permits.
Various kinds of permits are granted for the possession, use, etc.,
of foreign liquor. They are as follows:
(1) Emergency Permit.-Emergency permit is granted for the
use or consumption of brandy, rum or champagne to any person
for his/her own use or consumption or to any head of a household
for the use of his/her household for medicinal use on emergent occasions. The permit is granted for a period not beyond 31st March next following the date of the commencement of the permit and for a quantity not exceeding 6-2/3 fluid ounces of brandy or rum or 13-1/3 fluid ounces of champagne per six months. A permit is not granted to more than one member of a household at any one time or to a minor. The term 'household' is defined as a group of persons residing and messing jointly as members of one domestic unit.
(2) Health Permit.-The health permit is granted for the use
or consumption of foreign liquor for a quantity up to the maxi
mum of two units [One unit is equal to 1 quart bottle (of 26 2/3 ozs.) of spirit or 3 quart bottles of
wine or 9 quart bottles of fermented liquors of a strength exceeding 2 per cent of
alcohol by volume or 27 quart bottles of fermented liquors of a strength not exceeding
2 per cent of alcohol by volume.] a month to any person who requires such liquor
for the preservation or maintenance of his health. This permit may be granted to an applicant for a quantity exceeding two units but nor more than three units of foreign liquor a month if the applicant at the time of making an application is more than 55 years of age. provided that: -
(a) the applicant has made such application within three
months of the expiry of the health permit held by him authorising him to consume more than two unit[One unit is equal to 1 quart bottle (of 26 2/3 ozs.) of spirit or 3 quart bottles of wine or 9 quart bottles of fermented liquors of a strength exceeding 2 per cent of alcohol by volume or 27 quart bottles of fermented liquors of a strength not exceeding 2 per cent of alcohol by volume.] and
(b) the Area Medical Board or the State Medical Board, as
the case may be. recommends to such applicant a quantity in excess of two units. [One unit is equal to 1 quart bottle (of 26 2/3 ozs.) of spirit or 3 quart bottles of wine or 9 quart bottles of fermented liquors of a strength exceeding 2 per cent of alcohol by volume or 27 quart bottles of fermented liquors of a strength not exceeding 2 per cent of alcohol by volume.]
This permit is usually granted for a period not exceeding that recommended by the Area Medical Board or the State Medical Board, as the case may he, but such period shall not exceed six months in any case: -
Provided that the permit may be granted for a period not exceeding 12 months in the case of persons over 70 years of age.
Temporary Resident's Permit.
(3) Temporary Resident's Permit.-A temporary resident's
permit is issued to persons born and brought up or domiciled in
a country outside India, where liquor is usually consumed for
such monthly quantity not exceeding four units [One unit is equal to 1 quart bottle (of 26 2/3 ozs.) of spirit or 3 quart bottles of wine or 9 quart bottles of fermented liquors of a strength exceeding 2 per cent of alcohol by volume or 27 quart bottles of fermented liquors of a strength not exceeding 2 per cent of alcohol by volume.] as the Collector
may fix in each case. No permit can be granted for a period
beyond 31st March next following the date of its commencement.
Kinds of Permits Visitor's Permit
(4) Visitor's Permit.-Any person visiting the State of Maharashtra for a period of not more than a week and desiring to
possess, use and consume foreign liquor may apply to the Collector for a permit. The permit is granted for a period not exceeding one week provided that the Collector may extend the period of such permit, but in no case is such period to be extended to a total period exceeding one month. No permit can be granted for a quantity exceeding one unit per week.
(5) Interim Permit.-Any person who is eligible for a permit under rules 63, 64 or 68 of the Bombay Foreign Liquor Rules, 1953, and desires to possess, use or consume foreign liquor may apply to the Collector or any other officer authorised in this behalf for an interim permit while applying for a regular permit under any of the said Rules. No such permit is granted for a period exceeding two months. The permit is granted for such monthly quantity of foreign liquor as the Collector may fix, provided that such quantity shall not in any case exceed two units of foreign liquor per month if the permit holder is not eligible for permit under Rule 63 or 68, or four units of foreign liquor per month in other cases, except with the previous sanction of the Director of Prohibition and Excise.
(6) Tourist's Permit.-This is issued free to a foreign tourist holding a tourist introduction card or tourist visa. The quantity of foreign liquor granted under this permit is four units per month and it is granted for one month.
(7) Special permit for privileged personages.-This permit is granted to consular officers and the members of the staff appointed by or serving under them, provided that such members are nationals of a foreign State. It is also granted to the consorts and relatives of the category of persons specified above. The permit is granted for a period not extending beyond 31st March next following the date of the commencement of the permit. This permit is granted for any quantity of foreign liquor if the permit holder is a Sovereign or Head of Foreign State or his; consort. If the permit holder is any other person, the permit is; granted for a quantity of foreign liquor not exceeding that which may he fixed by the State Government, or by the Director of Prohibition and Excise.
The possession, use, etc., of toddy is completely prohibited.
The possession and use of denatured spirit is prohibited except under a permit or licence. A permit for possession and use of denatured spirit for domestic purposes is granted for a quantity not exceeding one quart bottle per month provided that the officer granting the permit may for any special reason grant the permit for any quantity not exceeding three quart bottles per month;
Provided further that with the previous sanction of the
Collector a permit may be granted for a quantity exceeding three
quart bottles per month.
The possession and use of denatured spirit for medical, scientific and educational purposes and for purpose or art, industry or
profession is regulated by the system or licences prescribed in
this behalf. Methylated industrial denatured spirit or special industrial denatured spirit required for use in any industry is allowed to be possessed on licences issued under the Bombay Denatured Spirit Rules, 1959.
Country liquor and wine.
Authorisations for use of country liquor and wine for sacramental purposes only are granted to priests of certain com- niunities. viz., Parsees, Jews and Christians.
Ganja, Bhang, Opium.
A permit for personal consumption of opium, ganja or bhang
is granted only on a production of medical certificate from the
Medical Board constituted by Government for the purpose. The maximum quantity which may be allowed per month under such permits is 96 grams in the case of ganja and bhang and 60 grams in the case of opium. A permit can be granted for only one of these drugs.
There are also rules governing the possession, use, transport, sale, etc., of dangerous drugs, mhowra flowers, molasses, rectified spirit and absolute alcohol for industrial, medicinal and other purposes.
Neera and Plam Products.
Neera sale licences as well as licences for manufacturing Gur from Neera are granted only to (i) the co-operative societies organised by social workers engaged in constructive work, (2) other similarly organised institutions such as Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, (3) ashrams, (4) organisations in charge, of Intensive Area Schemes, (5) Sarvodaya centres, etc., on the recommendation of the Khadi and Village Industries Board for the State of Maharashtra. No Neera licences are granted to individuals.
sub -Committees of Village Panchayats.
Sub-Committees of village panchayats.-With a view to securing
assistance from the village panchayats in prohibition propaganda
work they have been directed to form Sub-Committees for the
purpose. These Sub-Committees arc to be guided in this regard by the Social Education Officer if the villages are in project or National Extension Service Areas and by the District Publicity Officers and the Prohibition and Excise staff in other areas. Local officers such as Patils and Talathis have to assist and advise these Sub-Committees in this regard.
In Amravati district, there are two departmental Samskar Kendras. one each at Badnera. Chikhaldara and two subsidised Samskar Kendras one each at Yeoti and Talevel.