Bihar govt moves SC against Patna HC order quashing liquor ban

Patna: The Bihar government on Monday moved the Supreme Court against the Patna High Court decision striking down the ban on liquor in the state.

The apex court will hear the matter on October 7.

A High Court bench of Chief Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansari and Justice Navaniti earlier Singh struck down the state government's April 5 notification banning sale of liquor earlier on Friday.

The High Court had termed the notification "unconstitutional, draconian and unwarranted" in a civilised society.

In response, the state government on Sunday came out with a new law banning liquor with harsher provisions like arrest of all adults in the event of recovery of the contraband in their house.

The government notified the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 to ensure that the ban on sale and consumption of alcohol including Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) as well spiced and domestic liquor continued in the state.

At a special Cabinet convened on Sunday, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and other members of his Cabinet took a pledge that the government would continue with prohibition which is "ushering positive social change" in the state.

Besides retaining many provisions of the previous one, the new liquor law has some more stringent provisions including enhancing duration of imprisonment, hiking amount of fine, arrest of all adults in case of recovery of liquor bottle from a house and collective fine on a place in case of habitual violation of prohibition.

Principal Secretary (Cabinet Secretariat) Brajesh Mehrotra usually briefs media about Cabinet decisions, but on Sunday the Chief Minister himself took the mike and answered all queries.

The CM told reporters that the new liquor law, brought into force from Sunday, would be a real tribute to the Father of the Nation when the state is readying to observe the centenary celebration of Gandhiji's Champaran Satyagraha against British rule from the state in early 2017.


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