The Goa Excise Department on Wednesday said that starting next month, licence to sell liquor would not be granted to persons with criminal background. The Excise Department said this in a circular issued on Wednesday evening. The department also made it clear that existing licences of such persons will not be renewed from April.
In the circular, the department cited the recent amendment to Goa Excise Duty Rules, 1964, which prohibits a person with criminal background from procuring the (excise) licence.
State Excise Commissioner Menino D’Souza said the circular has been issued as per the amended provisions of the Rule 90 of Goa Excise Duty Rules 1964.
“The department has now made it mandatory for those applying for the renewal of licences to furnish police clearance certificate within six months,” D’Souza added.
This move has dealt a double blow to the liquor trade in Goa, as already around 3,000 liquor outlets located along the highways in the state are staring at a closure following a Supreme Court order.
In December last year, the apex court directed to ban all liquor shops within 500 metres of national and state highways across the country, a move aimed at reducing drink driving and road accidents that claim thousands of lives every year. “Licences of existing shops will not be renewed after March 31,” it had said.
The liquor vendors’ association has already requested Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to work out a solution for the crisis that is hovering on their trade.