Law Kumar Mishra
Patna: Bihar government on Sunday notified the Bihar prohibition and excise Act in extraordinary issue of Bihar gazetted enforcing the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act forthwith. CM Nitish Kumar, who chaired a special cabinet meeting, said the government was determined to impose total prohibition to mark the 100th year of Champaran satyagrah of Mahatma Gandhi. The CM and all cabinet ministers took a pledge to implement total prohibition.
According to a resolution passed by the Cabinet, both the Houses of state legislature had passed the Bill on August 4 and the Governor had given his assent to it on September 7. Experiences of the last five months show, the people have appreciated total prohibition aimed at social reform, it said.
According to the provisions in the 100 sections Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, Bhang, Ganja, Charas and Opium will be among the items banned along with liquor.
According to the provisions, death penalities have been provided for sale and manufacture of supurious liquor causing death. Seventeen people had died after consuming spurious liquor in August in Gopalganj district. Punishments provided in April 5 notification has been increased- fine of Rs one lakh has been raised to Rs ten lakhs, imprisonment of three years has been raised to life imprisonment or death sentence. Residential premises, hotels, bars, restauran
ts have also been included as place of occurrence and if any violation of the law is found, these premises would be consfiscated. For habitual offenders, externment from the state or district is provided under the new law.
Section 70 of the new Act provides for immediate arrest and immediate shifting to jail by sub-inspector of excise or police.Under section 62, there is provision of community or group fine for entire village or part of the town where Excise and prohibition Act has been violated. People can be arrested without warrants for violation of law. The government has provided setting up of special courts and appointment of special public prosecutors in every districts for trial of offences under the Act.
Not only community fine, even withdrawal of facilities, previleges, licences under any government project has been provided in the new law. This may result in disconnection of water or power supply for the entire village or part of town. Every adult member of the family shall be arrested if liquor is found in any residence or premises, the law provides.
The CM said the state government would appeal against the Friday orders of Patna High court declaring the April 5 notification as ultra vires to Constitution.