Age, it seems, is no barrier for breaking law and commission of offence. 

The arrest of septuagenarian on bootlegging charge on Thursday has brought to light the disturbing trend of illicit liquor Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) offences by elderly persons. 

Seventy four -year-old Ram Chandra Sethy from Nikirai village was put behind the bars yesterday after the offender was caught for running country liquor business without valid license. 

On 25 June, another man in his seventies had been arrested for allegedly peddling Cannabis and opium after the excise officials recovered the banned substance from his residence at Kansara village under Kendrapara Sadar police station jurisdiction. 

At least three other instances of elderly people booked for such offences have been registered in past months. 

“These people are being used as shield while the larger racket is being operated by other members of the family. It has happened on several occasions in the past when the old offenders intercepted for crime are let off on humanitarian ground”, said an excise personnel. 

The accused Sethy was in bootlegging for quite a while. Acting on a tip-off, he was arrested from his house with the contraband, said exercise personnel. 

“On a tip-off, the house of the liquor trader was raided and hooch was recovered. The old man has been in the trade for sometimes and sold it to neighbours and whoever visited his house. His family members were procuring the hooch and he is incharge of selling it. His relatives who are in the illicit trade are absconding,” said excise superintendent Purosottam Dharua. 

The accused was later remanded to judicial custody under Bihar and Orissa Excise act provisions. 

Interestingly, the accused had never fallen into excise personnel&’s trap in the past. Since past one year, at least six more cases of elderly people arrested for trading in illicit liquor have been registered. 

Two women in their sixties were also put behind the bar for similar charge. Interestingly on October 17, 2011, an 86-year-old man had been intercepted for bootlegging offence.