With the enforcement of the new Law, Booze Ban has become harsher than before: Bihar
Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 is enforced by the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday, two days after the Patna high court called off the previous prohibition law by declaring it overly harsh.
Harsher provisions like arresting all the members of a family if liquor is recovered from their house has also been included in the Act.
Associations who had challenged the previous law are more likely to challenge this too in the High Court.
Bihar CM is ready for any amendments in the new Law. “The winter session of the state legislature is approaching and any suggestions which show a positive commitment to prohibition are welcome,” Kumar said.
Kumar has also rejected some claims that the new Act is an extension of the previous Excise Act by saying that “the previous Act was an extension of an amendment of the excise Act of 1915, however the new Act is a pure prohibition Act in itself.”
Also, Kumar spoke on the provisions which were declared harsh by the Patna high court. “If liquor is found in a home, if someone comes drunk from neighboring states like Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal or Nepal and created a nuisance, then who is to blame for all these circumstances? Whosoever has reservations against such norms should give their suggestions”.
He further defended the strict stand of the Bihar government on prohibition by saying, “Consumption and trade of liquor is not a fundamental right according to the Supreme Court. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the government to dissuade consumption of liquor as stated by the directive principles of state policy.”
Harsh Singh, a High Court lawyer said that they were expecting the government to amend the penal sections of the Act. “When the punishments under the earlier Act is declared unconstitutional, how can the more strict punishments included in the new prohibition Act stand before the court?” said Singh.