Excise Department - Northern Division

  • Published on August 22, 1908
  • By Staff Reporter


 In its issue No. 50 dated the 24th June last, the Svadeshabhimany published a piece exposing the working of the Northern Division of the Excise Department. It is gratifying to note that the publication attracted the notice of the authorities who called on the Assistant Commissioner for explanation. But, it is rather surprising that the Assistant Commissioner has, in-stead-of submitting explanations with regard to each of the grave irregularities arrayed against him, ventured to chaff his superiors in a don't-care manner by reporting that the matter is nothing serious. Does the Excise Commissioner know that the Mahasar, the statement of license, and the Circle Officer's report in some of the cases mentioned in the article under reference, are missing, and that the report has not been even registered? What is the part acted by the Alwaye Circle Officer in the cases alluded to? What about the communication to the Arookutty Circle Officer, signed but not despatched? What is the meaning of the Assistant Commissioner's order to the Piravam Inspector to charge the case in which the Thonty articles are not to be seen? How can the Inspector ask the Magistrate, on the authority of the Assistant Commissioner, to order a peon to produce the Thonty articles? If it is believed in good faith that the peon has misappropriated the Thonty, why has he not been prosecuted? It is strongly assured that, if the cases published in the paper be properly enquired into, it would bring to light the numerous departments of fudging and scamping and misappropriation et hoc genus omne characterising the regime of Mr. Rajarathna Naicker. Over and above the revoltingly serious bunglings mentioned in the  previous article, there are, to be said, many more, of the same kind, if not worse, of which the following are a few.

 In the month of Thulam 1083, Assistant Commissioner Mr. Naicker inspected the tobacco shop of licensee Cheriyan Warky at Changanacherry, with the result that much of excess was found in the shop. The usual Yadasth was at once drawn up, and the case entrusted for prosecution to the local Inspector Mr. Padmanabha Pillai, Who, in the twinkling of an eye, evaporated the case by a report, direct, to the Assistant Commissioner himself, that the case was an insignificant one; the Assistant Commissioner being satisfied with the report; the Circle Officer knowing nothing whatever about the affair.

 Mr. Naicker, entertaining certain suspicions against the officer in charge of the Munampam Salt Bankshall, introduced a system of checking in the Bankshall, whereby some of the clerks of the Assistant Commissioner's Office were posted at the Salt Depot to check the issue of salt therefrom. Were the clerks paid  batta or any thing extra? If paid, where was the money from? Why is the system now discontinued? Why is Mr. Naicker now indifferent about complaints regarding issue of salt from the Munampam Salt Store?

 A sum of Rs.700 has been sanctioned for the putting up of a shed to add to the accommodation available at the Munampam Salt Depot. How is it that this work has been arranged to be departmentally executed in-stead-of by the D. P. W.? 

 In Kanny 1083, Inspector Mr. Kesava Iyer conducted an examination at the shop of opium contractor Mr. Sivan Andy in Muvattupuzha, and found that opium sold there was adulterated with chenninayakam, aloe  spicata, the authority for the pronouncement of adulteration being the finding of some leaves containing particles of Chenninayakam, and the depositions of the neighbouring shop-keeper that be had sold the alloy to Mr. Sivan Andy. The ceremony of Mahasar was performed, and the case submitted through the Alwaye Circle Officer to the Assistant Commissioner together with the opium alleged to be alloyed, in order to have the stuff sent to the Chemical Examiner for analysis. For about six months, the Assistant Commissioner slept over the matter! Then there appeared in the Kerala Taraka a few lines on the subject, which roused the case. Mr.Naicker then sent the case to the very Alwaye Circle Officer for one more enquiry! What does the six months delay mean? What does it mean when followed by "one more enquiry" disposal? what has become of the case after its reaching the Alwaye Circle Officer? How long is it since it reached him?

 There are still more; and they shall be poured forth in due course. In the mean time, may it be stated that these are matters which cannot but be probed to the very bottom at lease in the interests of Sircar's revenue, if not in the interests of honesty and justice and morale of public service.

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