Bring out all the juice again, Bihar. You may not be seeing alcohol for a longer time.
After the Patna High Court deemed Bihar Government’s Prohibition laws illegal, the government stepped up the regulatory laws this week, which states that those drinking alcohol could be sent to jail for up to seven years in addition to a massive fine of INR 1 lakh to INR 10 lakh.
The government notified the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016, ensuring a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol. This included Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), as well spiced and domestic liquor continued in the state despite the high court holding it “ultra vires of the constitution”. The new law, which came in effect from 2nd October, has a facility for prosecution of an excise or police officer for making vexatious search, seizure, detention or arrest under the Act.
A New Prohibition
The provision states that people who allow their properties to be used for serving liquor will be imprisoned for a period of ten years, which can be extended to life term. Moreover, all adults of a family are liable to be arrested if liquor was found at their house. Collective fine would be slapped on villages and urban clusters in case of habitual violation of the prohibition law.
This new change law was decided at a special meeting of the state cabinet held on Gandhi Jayanti. Attendees, which included the CM and other members of his cabinet, pledged to continue with prohibition which they said was “ushering in positive social change” in the state.
According to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the new law would be a real tribute to the father of the nation at a time when the state was readying for observing the centenary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagraha against the British rule from early 2017, reports The Wire.
Further supporting his government’s decision on the prohibition, CM Kumar highlighted the Supreme Court’s order that sale and consumption of liquor is not a fundamental right of a citizen. “Besides it is in tune with the directive principles of the state policy. I am following constitutional duty,” he said.
“If opposition to liquor law by a leader for whom space is reserved in newspapers for his daily statements is meant only to see to it that it fails in the state, I have nothing to say. But if BJP or any citizen has to make some constructive suggestion against any provision of the liquor law, it is welcome,” he added, apparently referring to senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, a former deputy chief minister.
Moreover, he said that any legislator who has to make some suggestion for more effective implementation of prohibition law can do so in Bihar legisltaure’s winter session, which is not far away.
Feature Image: BBC
Source: The Wire