DEPARTMENT OF PROHIBITION AND EXCISE.
Prohibition and Excise Organization.
SINCE THE INTRODUCTION OF COMPLETE PROHIBITION IN
THE FORMER AREAS OF THE STATE OF BOMBAY from 1st April, 1950, the
former Department of Excise has come to be designated as the
Department of Prohibition and Excise. The officer charged with the
administration of this department in Kolhapur district is the
Collector of Kolhapur. In relation to this department, he is
responsible to the Director of Excise and Prohibition, Bombay State.
He is invested with various powers under the Bombay Prohibition Act
(XXV of 1949) and also exercises power under the Dangerous Drugs Act
(II of 1930), the Bombay Opium Smoking Act (XX of 1936) and the
Bombay Drugs (Control) Act (XXIX of 1952). Under the Bombay
Prohibition Act, prohibitions or restrictions have been placed on
the manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, possession, use
and consumption of 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,
Kolhapur assists the Collector and is in charge of the actual work
of the department in the district. The District Inspector, Kolhapur
has under him two Sub-Inspectors, both stationed at Kolhapur. The
district is divided into two ranges each in charge of a separate
Sub-Inspector. One range consists of the talukas of Karvir, Kagal,
Gadhingalaj, Bhudargad, Ajra, and Chandgad, and the other range
consists of the talukas of Hatkanangle. Shirol, Panhala, Shahuwadi,
Radhanagari and Bavda. There is one Sub-Inspector with headquarters
at Kolhapur for Drugs control work of the district. There are also
two Sub-Inspectors for the Rectified Spirit Distillery of Messrs.
Kolhapur Sugar Mills Ltd. The District Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors
have also been invested with certain powers under the Bombay
Prohibition Act and the Bombay Opium Smoking Act and the Bombay
Drugs (Control) Act.
In each taluka, a medical board consisting usually
of two registered medical practitioners (one Government or
semi-Government official and the other non-official) has been
formed. The functions of the board are to examine any person who
applies for a permit to possess opium, ganja or bhang for personal
consumption or for an increase in the existing quota, and, on
examination to issue a medical certificate to such person if it is
satisfied that the applicant requires the drug as a medical
There is another medical board for foreign liquor
permits on health grounds. The Civil Surgeon, Kolhapur, is in charge
of the board and examines and grants certificates to applicants from
the Kolhapur City. In the rest of the district, the medical officers
in charge of the Government or municipal dispensaries do the above
duties and send the certificates through the Civil Surgeon,
Kolhapur, for his counter signature.
In the case of individual military personnel, the
quota of foreign liquor is allotted by the Station Staff Officer on
a scale commensurate with their rank, and the same can be purchased
from the Military Vendor's Licences only. In the case of military
messes, requisitions are issued by the Station Staff Officer and
liquor is issued by the Military Vendor's Licences on the strength
of transport permits issued by the Prohibition and Excise
The Police Department is the chief agency to deal
with detection, investigation and prosecution of offences under
Prohibition Act. Though officers of the Prohibition and Excise
Department, of and above the rank of 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. The Home Guard
Organisation also assists the Police in this work. Under Section 134
of the Prohibition Act, village officers, village servants useful to
Government, officers of other departments of the State Government,
and officers and servants of local authorities are bound not only to
give information to the Police of breaches of the provisions of the
Act which may come to their knowledge, but also to prevent the
commission of breaches of the Act about which they may have
knowledge. Under Section 133, officers and servants of local
authorities are further 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, land loards of estates,
owners of vehicles, etc., are bound to give notice of any illicit
tapping of trees or manufacture of any liquor or intoxicating drug
to a Magistrate, Prohibition Officer or Police Officer as soon as it
comes to their knowledge.
All revenue officers of and above the rank of
Mamlatdar or Mahalkari, all Magistrates and all officers of the
Department of Prohibition and Exercise, of and above the rank of
Sub-Inspector have been authorised under Section 123 of the
Prohibition Act, within the limits of their respective jurisdiction
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 article of contraband. The officer so authorised, when he
arrests any person or seizes and detains any article, has to forward
such person or article without unnecessary delay to the
officer-in-charge of the nearest police station.
Effect of Prohibition.
As the Kolhapur State was merged into the State of
Bombay from 1st March 1949, the excise laws of the Bombay State were
made applicable to the Kolhapur district with effect from 1st May
1949. A comparison is given of the consumption of liquor and
intoxicating drugs in the year 1950-51 (the year in which complete
prohibition was in force) and 1955-56:-
Wines (in dozen
Beer (in dozen
maunds and seers)
maunds and seers)
maunds and seers)
The total revenue which was Rs. 1,17,149 in 1950-51
was only Rs. 70,268 in 1955-56.
Kinds of permits.
Various permits were granted for possession, use,
etc. of foreign liquor. These were:-
(1) Emergency Permits.-These permits
were at first issued to families only, for emergent purposes. This
permit can, since 22nd October, 1952, be issued in the name of any
member of the family, but it cannot be granted to more than one
member of a household at any one time. A holder of this permit is
authorised to purchase, possess, use or consume 6⅔ ozs. of brandy or rum or 13⅓ ozs. of champagne during a period of
six months. The number of emergency permits issued in 1955-56 was 30
and in 1956-57, six.
(2) Health Permits.-These permits are
granted on grounds of health to the applicants after their medical
examination by the Civil Surgeon, Kolhapur for a quantity
recommended by him. The maximum quantity admissible under the Bombay
Foreign Liquor Rules, 1953 is two units. [One unit is equal to 1
quart bottle of 26⅔ ozs. of
spirits, 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.] During the year 1950-51 and, from
April 1951 to 19th September 1951, these permits were granted for a
period of six months only. From 20th September 1951 these permits
can be issued for a period of one year if recommended by the Medical
Board to persons who are, over sixty years and in the case of
persons over seventy years the permits can be granted upto a year
without medical examination by the Medical Board. A permit-holder
desiring to renew the permit has to make a fresh application. The
number of health permits issued in 1955-56 was 236 and in 1956-57,
(3) Temporary Resident's
Permits.-These permits are issued to persons born and
brought-up or domiciled in a country outside India where liquor is
usually consumed. Temporary resident's permits are granted for a
maximum quantity of four units per month. They are granted upto the
end of the financial year. A permit-holder desiring to renew the
permit has to make a fresh application.
(4) Visitor's Permits.-Any person
visiting the State of Bombay for a period not more than a week is
granted a visitor's permit upto a quantity of one unit and the
permit is renewable for a maximum period of one month.
(5) Tourist's Permits.-Any foreign
tourists who is eligible for a temporary resident's permit and
possesses a tourist introduction card or tourist visa is granted a
tourist's permit for a maximum period of one month for a quantity of
one unit per week.
Possession, use, etc., of toddy is completely
Permits for possession and use of denatured spirit
up to a maximum quantity of two bottles per month are granted for
Country liquor and
Authorisations for the use of country liquor and
wine for sacramental purposes only are granted to persons of certain
communities, viz., Christians, Parsees and Jews.
Ganja, Bhang and Opium.
Ganja, Bhang or Opium is allowed to a person for his
personal consumption only, under a permit which granted on
production of a medical certificate from the Medical Board, the
maximum quantity allowed under a permit being 15 tolas in the cases
of ganja or bhang and 7½ tolas in the case of
opium. In 1955-56, 91 permits were issued for opium, 83 for
ganja land 3 for bhang. In 1956-57 the respective
numbers were 124, 79 and 11.
There are also rules governing the possession, use,
transport, sale, etc. of dangerous drugs, mhowra-flowers, molasses,
rectified spirit and absolute alcohol for industrial, medical and
The Bombay Village Industries Board is entrusted
with the working of the " neera and palm products scheme ". It is
carrying out its neera and palm-gur work through co-operative
societies or suitable institutions of constructive social workers
such as (1) Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, (2) Sarvodaya Centres and (3)
There is a supervisor stationed in each area of
neera extraction who supervises the tapping and collection of
neera from trees. The neera collected is transported to
various sale centres. There is a manager at each centre, who
supervises the sale of neera with the help of the salesmen.
The manufacture of gur from neera is allowed only at
the centre under the supervision of the Van supervisor.
A Prohibition Sub-Committee consisting of ten
members has been set-up by the District Development Board, Kolhapur.
The Chairman of the Prohibition Sub-Committee is from, the
non-official members of the Board and the District Inspector of
Prohibition and Excise, Kolhapur, is its Secretary. The functions of
this Committee are to advise the Prohibition and Excise Department
in carrying out the prohibition work and to male suggestions in
matters pertaining to vigilance, prohibition propaganda, publicity,
recreation activities, etc.
There are three Sanskar Kendras in the
Kolhapur district and they are at (i) Murgud, (ii) Gadhinglaj and
(iii) Turkewadi. All the three Sanskar Kendras are
managed by private institutions, but are partly subsidised by the
department. These Sanskar Kendras conduct recreation
activities for weaning the people from the drink habit.