Tinsukia: The deputy commissioner of Tinsukia, Narsing Pawar, has termed the administrative order issued by the additional deputy commissioner for sealing of hotel ‘The Mirana’ as incorrect, and it has now been withdrawn in line with the court’s reconsideration order.
The development came on the backdrop of strong criticism against the district administration’s alleged “wishy-washy” approach in a hotel ‘The Mirana’ case in contrast with the boldness and swiftness it exhibited in the Apu’s restaurant case, with questions that why did executive magistrate Niluram Sarma return without sealing the hotel when there was no stay by the court.
In a press conference, Pawar said, as per the Excise Act, the district administration does not have the power to seal the property. He admitted that the order issued by the additional deputy commissioner was incorrect. “There is a Gauhati High Court order to this effect, and as per the directions of District and Session Judge, the order has been withdrawn after reconsideration,” he added.
Pawar said the District and Session Judge has mentioned in the order that there is no material on record to prove that the hotel served the liquor. Pawar said the hotel’s management said they did not serve liquor, and the room’s occupants committed the illegality by keeping the managmenet in the dark. After that, the management filed a police complaint against the occupants of two rooms: Bhaskar Upadhyay and Lachit Sharma.
Pawar said they have issued an advisory to all hotels and restaurants in Tinsukia, which do not possess bar licenses, to put out a notice board mentioning “consumption of alcohol/liquor is not allowed” and display it at the reception so that in future they cannot hide from their responsibility by saying the occupants of the room were consuming alcohol by keeping the hotel management in dark.
Interestingly, the hotel manager has chosen not to name the host who booked the venue and 30 rooms for a marriage party, including rooms 411 and 417, from where liquor has been recovered – in the police complaint.
Highlighting the difference between Apu’s restaurant and ‘The Mirana’ hotel case, Pawar said, in Apu’s restaurant case there were three cases relating to Excise Act, Essential Commodities Act for using domestic cylinder for commercial purposes and illegal encroachment of government land.
“The demolition was done with due respect to court’s order in connection with illegal encroachment of government reserve land under Section 18 (2) of the Assam Land and Revenue Regulation, 1886,” Pawar said, in response to Tinsukia Bar Association sharp allegation that right to equality has been violated after district administration went soft by not showing the same eagerness to seal ‘The Mirana’ hotel which it showed in Apu’s restaurant case
Hitting back on the Tinsukia Bar Association, Pawar said, no institution should conduct “media trial” of junior officer of another institution and respect the dignity of other institutions . “Despite not being a party in the case, Association chose to address media and criticize the administration. Similarly, we can question the interest of the Association and on who’s behest did they make such comments and criticism,” added Pawar.
On June 16, Tinsukia Bar Association strongly criticized the district administration’s role in ‘The Mirana’ hotel case asking them to explain the citizens why did it not the seal the hotel, instead hiding behind the court, when there was no stay granted by the court. It also hit out at the adminstration for such a hurry in Apu’s case and went to the extent of saying that EM Niluram Sarma lacked adminstrative knowledge
Responding to a question, Pawar conceded that EM Sarma could have also acted the other way by sealing the hotel in absence of th court’s order and might have made a mistake. “The petitioner’s advocate informed EM Sarma that the matter is sub judice after which he spoke to Additional deputy commissioner and public prosecutor and returned without sealing the hotel.” EastMojo questioned that how come EM Sarma knew about the order in the afternoon when the order was actually passed around 5.00 pm in the evening as alleged by the Tinsukia Bar Council.
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