The Punjab government on Monday decided to amend its excise act to introduce the death penalty for accused in cases where people die after consuming illicit liquor.
The Punjab Cabinet's decision comes six months after the hooch tragedy in which 112 people had died after drinking spurious liquor in Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran.
According to a government press release, the Bill will be introduced in the ongoing Budget Session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. The aim is to instil fear of law among the offenders and impose stiff punishment.
A new Section 61-A will be inserted in the Punjab Excise Act, 1914. According to the amendment, in case of death, the guilty shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to a fine which may extend up to ₹20 lakh.
Apart from this, in case of disability or grievous hurt, the guilty will be punished with imprisonment for a period of six years extendable up to life imprisonment and also with a fine which may extend to ₹10 lakh.
If any other consequential injury is caused to a person, the guilty may be punished with imprisonment up to one year and a fine up to ₹5 lakh.
The Cabinet has also made a provision to provide compensation to the family members of the victim. The compensation will be provided by the manufacturer and seller of illicit liquor.
The court can order compensation of not less than ₹5 lakh in case of death and compensation of ₹3 lakh in case of grievous injuries, reported NDTV.
Section 63 has been amended to enhance the term of imprisonment from one year to three years. Now, the fine would come up to ₹10,000 for the offence of alteration or attempt to alteration of denatured spirit.
The term of imprisonment has also been increased from three years to five years for unlawful import, export, transport, manufacture and possession of any intoxicant.