Booze raid: Former IPL chairman booked in India's 'dry state'

Vadodara, Gujarat, India Dec 23, 2016, 11.33 AM(IST)

Gujarat prohibits manufacture, storage, sale and consumption of alcohol beverages. Recently, the Gujarat government amended alcohol prohibition law, which can now send an offender to jail for ten years. Photograph:( Getty )

A high profile pre-marriage liquor party at a farmhouse near Vadodara, a city in India's western state of Gujarat, was raided and nearly 260 people including former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Chirayu Amin were booked in this connection, police said today.

Police recovered 103 liquor bottles and 116 bottles of beer, priced at Rs 1,28,950 ($1,900) during the raid conducted at the Akhand farmhouse in Ampad village near here. Also, 125 men and 134 women were booked in this regard.

This is the first such raid on a liquor party in the state after Gujarat tightened its liquor laws by bringing in an ordinance in this regard last week.

"We raided the farmhouse last night where a liquor party was under way," Vadodara (Rural) SP Saurabh Tolumbia told reporters here.

"We have registered two different cases related to the liquor party. One against organisers of the party Jitendra Shah and his son Abhay, who are also owners of the farmhouse. They have been arrested," he said.

"While milder sections of the prohibition laws were invoked in other offences against those present in the liquor party," he said.

The strict offence invoked against organisers of the party is amended article 65 of the Gujarat Prohibition Act, which is a very serious offence and punishable with 10 years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5 lakh, he said.

"This is for the first time that these sections have been invoked after the state government recently amended prohibition laws and made it stringent," he further said.

Former president of FICCI and ex-IPL Chairman Chirayu Amin and another noted industrialist Rakesh Agrawal were among those booked, he said.

"We have taken blood samples of all those who were present in the party, and let them off as the punishment under these sections are not more than seven years," he said.

"We have seized large quantity of 103 liquor bottles and 116 beer bottles the value of which is Rs 1,28,950 from the farm house. We have also seized 80 cars from the venue," he said.

The pre-marriage party was held to celebrate the wedding of granddaughter of Jitendra Shah, police said.