Awareness camp on Assam Excise Act

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, May 4: The state excise department has organised an awareness programme on the Assam Excise Act (Amendment), 2000 at commissionerate of excise office here on Friday.

The Amendment Bill to the Assam Excise Act, 2000 was passed by the Assam Legislative Assembly during the Budget Session of the Assembly on February 21.

Assam excise minister Parimal Suklabaidya was present at the awareness programme. Senior officials from Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and excise department also attended.

A number of sections have been amended in the Act. As per information, Section 2 of the Act 2000 has been amended to define public place while Section 36 has been amended to define a clear procedure for recovery of dues from the defaulters of excise revenue.

While the Section 53 (1), 54 & 55, which were bailable Sections earlier, have been made non- bailable and all other bailable Sections have been made bailable as per CrPC, 1973.

Section 53(1) deals with the matter relating to penalty for unlawful import, export, transport manufacture, possession, sale etc. Provision for penalty under Section 53(1) has been made more stringent and made punishable for a term up to three years and with fine up to Rs 5 lakh.

On the other hand, Section 54 deals with unlawful possession in certain cases such as duty evaded intoxicants, etc. Penalty provisions for punishment under section 54 made punishable with imprisonment for a term up to three years and with fine up to Rs 5 lakh.

Section 55 deals with penalty for altering or attempting to alter any denatured spirit that may be used for human consumption. Penalty provision under Section 55 made punishable with imprisonment for a term up to five years and with fine up to Rs 2 lakh.

Two new sections, Section 61–A and Section 61-B have been inserted making the consumption of alcohol in a public place punishable with a fine up to rupees fifty thousand or/and imprisonment up to six months.

A new Section 64-A has also been inserted to make provision to try offences and making punishment provisions for offences by companies.

The Section 76 of the Act has been amended to rationalize the power to compound the bailable offences under the Act and to introduce procedure for seizure of vehicles etc. Also in case the licence holder commits the same offence for the second time, his compounding fee will be double the amount paid for his same offence committed earlier.

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