Patna: Chief justice I A Ansari and Justice Navniti Prasad Singh of Patna High Court in their 142 page judgement challenging the notification issued by Bihar government on April 5 allowed 16 petitions filled by liquor manufcaturers, liquor traders, consumers and some doctors.
The court observed there was contradiction between the New Excise Policy of 2015 and the notification issued on April 5, 2016. Liquor traders had got licences for the 2016-17. However, all of a sudden, the state government made a complete U turn from its excise policy by imposing total prohibition through a notification on April 5 though the new excise policy had talked of prohibition in phases only.
The court observed that the right to consume alcohol was not a constituional right and the state can impose reasonable restrictions on consumption of alcohol in order to carry forward the goal set by the constitution in the form of directive principles.