Amid criticism Bihar govt planning to relax prohibition law

Patna Jan 19 PTI Amid allegations of ineffective implementation of the prohibition law and recent hooch tragedies in Bihar the state government is planning to amend the legislation to make it less stringent a senior official said on WednesdayA person who is caught drunk for the first time may not be arrested but let off after payment of a fine on the spot said the official privy to the matterAn amendment bill is likely to be tabled in the next session of the assembly in FebruaryThe government may bring certain changes in the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act 2016 It is considering introducing a provision of financial penalty to relax the normsPeople who are caught in a drunken state can be let off after paying a penalty on the spot However it will not be applicable to repeat offenders Failure to pay the penalty will invite simple imprisonment of one month but repeat offences may invite additional penalty or imprisonment or both the official saidA person repeatedly violating the norms of liquor prohibition law would be liable to face a jail termThe Nitish Kumar government is also considering a proposal to release a vehicle found involved in liquor violation by paying a penalty said the official on condition of anonymityA proposal is also there to increase the number of courts in districts to deal with pending cases related to prohibitionAdditional Chief Secretary home Chaitanya Prasad told PTI The issue was discussed during inter-departmental consultations The officials did not elaborate on the reason for amending the law enacted in 2016 to ban the manufacture trade storage transportation sale and consumption of liquor in the stateThe chief minister has come under attack from both alliance partner BJP and opposition RJD following hooch tragedies in the state that have claimed more than 60 lives in the past six monthsEleven people died in Nalanda district after consuming spurious liquor earlier this month Around Deepawali last year the state was rattled by hooch tragedies in a number of districts that claimed more than 40 lives Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhis Hindustani Awam Morcha HAM an NDA constituent has demanded that the prohibition law be repealedBJP spokesperson Arvind Kumar Singh had said If the liquor prohibition has failed in Bihar it is due to officers who are not strictly enforcing it and are using it to extort money The Supreme Court recently remarked that the liquor law was impacting the functioning of the judiciary in Bihar with 14-15 Patna High Court Judges only hearing the bail pleas relating to arrests made under the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act Despite repeated attempts by PTI Prohibition and Excise Minister Sunil Kumar was not available for comments PTI PKD NN NN

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January 19, 2022

National

3 min

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Patna Jan 19 PTI Amid allegations of ineffective implementation of the prohibition law and recent hooch tragedies in Bihar the state government is planning to amend the legislation to make it less stringent a senior official said on WednesdayA person who is caught drunk for the first time may not be arrested but let off after payment of a fine on the spot said the official privy to the matterAn amendment bill is likely to be tabled in the next session of the assembly in FebruaryThe government may bring certain changes in the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act 2016 It is considering introducing a provision of financial penalty to relax the normsPeople who are caught in a drunken state can be let off after paying a penalty on the spot However it will not be applicable to repeat offenders Failure to pay the penalty will invite simple imprisonment of one month but repeat offences may invite additional penalty or imprisonment or both the official saidA person repeatedly violating the norms of liquor prohibition law would be liable to face a jail termThe Nitish Kumar government is also considering a proposal to release a vehicle found involved in liquor violation by paying a penalty said the official on condition of anonymityA proposal is also there to increase the number of courts in districts to deal with pending cases related to prohibitionAdditional Chief Secretary home Chaitanya Prasad told PTI The issue was discussed during inter-departmental consultations The officials did not elaborate on the reason for amending the law enacted in 2016 to ban the manufacture trade storage transportation sale and consumption of liquor in the stateThe chief minister has come under attack from both alliance partner BJP and opposition RJD following hooch tragedies in the state that have claimed more than 60 lives in the past six monthsEleven people died in Nalanda district after consuming spurious liquor earlier this month Around Deepawali last year the state was rattled by hooch tragedies in a number of districts that claimed more than 40 lives Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhis Hindustani Awam Morcha HAM an NDA constituent has demanded that the prohibition law be repealedBJP spokesperson Arvind Kumar Singh had said If the liquor prohibition has failed in Bihar it is due to officers who are not strictly enforcing it and are using it to extort money The Supreme Court recently remarked that the liquor law was impacting the functioning of the judiciary in Bihar with 14-15 Patna High Court Judges only hearing the bail pleas relating to arrests made under the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act Despite repeated attempts by PTI Prohibition and Excise Minister Sunil Kumar was not available for comments PTI PKD NN NN

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