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The word ABKARI derived from Persian (abkara from kar- business) strengers Persian English Dictionary defines it as tax on the manufacture and sale of Spirituous liquors and intoxicating drugs. According to the glossary of judicial and revenue terms it means revenue derived from duties levied on the manufacture and sale intoxicating drugs whether in substance, infusion, extract as opium, charas, etc.
After the formation of the State of Kerala, it was noticed that different Abkari Acts were in force in different parts of the State, namely; Travancore Abkari Act for Travancore, Cochin Abkari Act for Cochin, Madras Abkari Act for Malabar. Existence of the different Acts created much practical difficulties and a unified Act for the whole of the state became necessary. Therefore Government decided to extent the Cochin Abkari Act for the whole of the state with necessary amendments. The Cochin Abkari Act I of 1077 was renamed as the Abkari Act I of 1077 and was extended to the whole of the state with effect from 11.05.1967. Various amendments were made in the Abkari Act from time to time.
The original Act viz., the Cochin Abkari Act was passed by His Highness the Maharaja of Cochin on the 5th day of August 1902, corresponding to 31st day of Karkadagom 1077.
Excise Department was functioning under the Board of Revenue till 30.6.98. Excise Commissioner is the administrative head.
Vision and Mission of the Department
The Department is administering laws related to Liquor, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, Medicinal Preparations containing alcohol and narcotic drugs, etc.
The Acts enforced by Excise Department are . The Abkari Act 1 of 1077, . The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985, . The Medicinal and Toilet Preparations (Excise Duties) Act, 1955 . The Spirituous Preparations (Inter State Trade and Commerce) Control Act 1955., and . The Prohibition Act 1950 (Sections 1, 7 & 11 only). The NDPS Act and the M&T.P Act were enacted by the Central Government.
The various rules formulated under the Abkari Act, NDPS Act, M & TP Act are furnished below:
The principal duties of the Department are protection, augmentation and collection of Excise Revenue and enforcement of the above acts and various Rules made there under. The Department prevents leakage of revenue, and exerts effective control on the abuse of liquor and Intoxicating Drugs. The duties of Excise Department are broadly classified as Collection of Revenue, Enforcement activity to prevent illicit liquor production, sale and trafficking and Campaign against Alcoholism.
Liquor includes spirits of wine, arrack, spirits, wine, toddy, beer and all liquid consisting of or containing alcohol. Individual has no fundamental right over the manufacture and trade of liquor. Absolute right on liquor is vested with the State. Government formulates Abkari policy of the state every year. The policy formulated by the State Government is implemented by the Excise Department.
For the convenience of administration, the State of Kerala is divided into three Zones headed by Joint Excise Commissioners.
1. South Zone with head quarters at Thiruvananthapuram
Fourteen Excise Divisions come under the above three Zones which are co-terminus to the 14 Revenue Districts of the State, headed by Deputy Excise Commissioners. In each Division there is an Asst. Excise Commissioner for supervision of enforcement activities. Each Division is further divided into Excise Circles, which are co-terminus to the Revenue Taluk of the State under the control of Circle Inspectors of Excise. Each Circle comprises of one or more Excise Ranges, which are the micro level unit of Excise Department and the primary enforcement unit headed by Excise Inspectors.
To assist the Excise Commissioner in the administrative work, there is an Additional Excise Commissioner (Administration) an officer of IAS Rank in the Commissionerate of Excise. In the Enforcement matters, an Additional Excise Commissioner( Enforcement), IPS officer of IGP Rank is appointed for assisting the Excise Commissioner.
Each Excise Zone is under the control of a Joint Excise Commissioner and each Excise Division under the control of a Deputy Excise Commissioner. The Excise Circle Offices in each Taluk are under the control of a Circle Inspector of Excise and each Range under an Excise Inspector. In each district, in addition to the Excise Circle Offices and Range Offices, there is an Excise Enforcement and Anti Narcotic Special Squad under the control of Circle Inspector of Excise. The Jurisdiction of these Squads is within the entire District. One Narcotic Enforcement Squad is functioning at Adimali in Idukki District exclusively formulated for the eradication of Ganja Cultivation and prevention of Narcotic offences. The department has an Excise Intelligence and Investigation Bureau under the control of a Joint Excise Commissioner for collection of intelligence. Under the Joint Excise Commissioner, Intelligence, there are three Asst. Excise Commissioner at Zonal level. There is one Excise Vigilance Wing headed by a Police Officer in the rank of Superintend of Police, under the control of excise Commissioner, functioning at Excise Quarters. Excise Department has a State Excise Academy and Research Centre for imparting training to the officers and men of the department. The Principal of the Academy is an officer in the rank of Joint Excise Commissioner.