Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Issues New Liquor Law

Two days after the Patna High Court quashed its order on prohibition, the Bihar government on Sunday came out with a new law banning liquor with more harsh provisions like the 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, and 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 the 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 Chief Minister told reporters that the new liquor law brought into force from October 2, 2016, 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.

The new liquor law came into force in Bihar barely two days after the Patna High Court had on Friday quashed it’s April 5 notification describing it as ultra vires of Constitution.