Bihar Liquor Ban
As a major jolt to the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, the Patna High court thrashed the Bihar government’s complete ban on liquor deeming it to be ultra vires for the constitution. The notification submitted on April 5 was termed illegal and hence not enforceable, the verdict said. A division bench of the court comprising Chief Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansari and Justice Navaniti Prasad Singh said that the Bihar government did not think it through, the prohibition.
The Grand Secular Alliance Government banned the manufacture, trade, sale, consumption of country-made liquor since April 1, but later imposed an absolute ban on all types of liquor including foreign liquor in the state.The Bihar Prohibition and Excise Bill – 2016, which only passed last month, had some very strict and rigid implementations including arrest of all the members of the house if liquor is found in the house . If any tenant is found consuming or storing alcohol then the owner of the house will also be arrested. And all these offenses would fall under non-bailable category where the police cannot grant any bail but the courts only. Moreover, only special courts will have the authority to deal into such cases.
Another stringent implementation of the law states that if a mix of jaggery or grapes is found in any premises then the authorities can very well assume the manufacturing of alcohol being taking place and also can confiscate the vehicles providing logistics along with the premises.
Ever since the ban has come into effect, opposition has been shaming the Nitish government and criticising it for the same calling it a ‘Black Law’. Not only the opposition even the local residents of the state condemned the decision of total ban. Another important individual was against the ban, Lalu Prasad Yadav who is in coalition with the Nitish government in Bihar.
Although the CM took the ban way too seriously and worked on at war levels and while doing so he also urged the PM to implement the same across the nation. The recent cases of illegal bootlegging of hooch in Bihar, although, show different pictures where in the black market still runs the alcohol business. According to Senior Advocate Y V Giri, on behalf of the Restaurant and Bar Association also argued that the prohibition is unconstitutional as it creates unnecessary restrictions on the livelihood of an individual which otherwise is protected under Article 21 of Constitution.