Liquor ban illegal, Patna High Court rules in Bihar

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Patna, Sep 30: The Patna high court on Friday struck down the liquor ban imposed by the Nitish Kumar administration in April.

Hearing a petition against a ban, a high court bench termed it "illegal", and criticised the stringent provisions in Bihar's new excise law.

Read | Bihar liquor ban: Experts say 'draconian' new excise bill may face legal test
A PIL was filed a day after the state government declared Bihar a total dry state on April 5.

The petition contended that the state government's decision violated human rights of a citizen about what to eat and drink.

After imposing the ban, the state government had passed the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2016 during the monsoon session of the state legislature.

Governor Ram Nath Kovind recently gave his assent to the legislation, which provided for stringent prohibition law in the state.The new act is to be implemented from October 2.

Among other provisions, the new act made any offence committed in contravention of this law non-compoundable and left no room for anticipatory bail.

Under the law, habitual offenders could be booked under the crime control act (CCA) and externed from the district.

The new act also provides for arrest under non-bailable sections for consumption or possession of liquor in the state territory.

It also seeks to punish all adults in a family for liquor consumption by an individual family member, or if liquor were recovered from one's house.

IANS

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