Maharashtra plans tougher hooch law as toll reaches 102

Maharashtra plans tougher hooch law as toll reaches 102

Rattled by the hooch tragedy at Malvani where the toll reached 102 on Monday, the BJP-Shiv Sena government is keen to act tough against those involved in illicit liquor business.

While the government is planning to invoke provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act and Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders and Dangerous Persons Act, it is also trying to introduce stringent law to make criminals pay for their crime.

Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse, who also holds the Excise portfolio, said that Police and Excise department officials taking action against illicit liquor, but strict measures are needed. “In the past, the government has ordered invoking provisions of MCOCA against sand mafia and also MPDA,” Khadse said, adding that similar action is needed in tackling the illicit liquor mafia. 

“Action would include seizure of equipment and sealing of the premises. Since January this year, 117 raids have been conducted in Malad and nearby areas in suburban Mumbai. Several people have been arrested. But, they have been let off on bail of Rs 2,000. The need of the hour is to make stringent laws,” he said.

According to him, the Home department would bring in a proposal in the Cabinet which would be backed by the Excise department. 

On Sunday, the Devendra Fadnavis government decided to give an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and announced a plan to rehabilitate women by training them in different skill-based jobs. 

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