Excise Department - Northern Division

In it's issue date June 14, 1907 Svadesabhimani published an article exposing the working of the Northern Division of Excise Department

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 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 re-posting 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? 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 characterizing the regime of Mr.Rajarthna Naicker. Over and above the revoltingly serious bungling 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 license 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 suspicious against the officer in charge of the Munambam 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. Where the clerks paid batta for any thing extra? If paid, where was the money from? Why was the money from? Why is the system discontinued? Why is Mr.Naicker now indifferent from about complaints regarding issue of salt from the Maunampam Slat store?

A sum of Rs.700 has been sanctioned for the putting 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-steed-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 sho-keeper that he 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 send 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 meantime, may it be stated that these are matters which cannot but be probed to the very bottom at least in the interests of Sircar’s revenue, if not in the interest of honesty and justice and morale of public service.     

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