Thane: Eight hooch-makers acquitted as raiding police workforce goofs up

THANE: The Thane district court on Monday rapped the crime branch of Thane police for not following the basic procedure while raiding an illicit brew manufacturing site two years ago. This goof-up, on the part of the police, led to the acquittal of the eight people accused in the case.
On November 15, 2016, the police raided an illegal distillery along the creek in where eight illegal units were distilling hooch, prosecutor told the court.

The police claimed to have to stumbled upon 6,800 litres of illicit brew stored in 155 drums at the spot. While the raw material used to distil was destroyed, the police collected samples from various drums. These samples, which should have been collected in separate bottles, were all taken in one bottle of 180 ml. The accused fled the spot when the raiding team swooped down on the illegal brew-making den. They were subsequently arrested and booked under the Maharashtra Prohibition Act.

Crime branch officials, under the supervision of senior inspector , collected the samples.

Assistant sessions judge H B Shelke, while acquitting the eight accused, observed, “For establishing the offences punishable under the prohibition Act, it is necessary to establish that the material seized contain the alcohol or stupefying intoxicating or unwholesome drug. For that purpose, the sample from every container needs to be taken separately. But, though there were 170 drums of liquor, the sample was taken in a single bottle…”

The judge noted that proper procedure had not been followed while taking samples from the spot.

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