The Gujarat Prohibition (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which aims at giving more teeth to the present liquor law, today received assent of Governor O P Kohli. The Bill was passed by the state Assembly on February 22. The Governor gave his assent to the Bill and it will become an Act after the notification is issued in the official gazette, a release from the state government said. "The amendment Bill passed by the state government to strengthen prohibition law was sent to the Governor for approval," Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja said. The Bill replaced an Ordinance issued by the Gujarat government in December last year to amend the current law governing the sale, consumption and transport of liquor in the "dry state". The Bill proposes stringent action against bootleggers, tipplers as well as officials who help culprits to escape during raids on liquor dens. With the amended Bill, those selling liquor would face up to 10 years of jail and a fine of Rs 5 lakhs.
In the current Act, punishment for this illegal activity is just three years, said the release. Similarly, liquor den operators as well as those helping them would face imprisonment up to 10 years. In another major amendment, the people who create ruckus or harass others under inebriated state, will face a jail term up to three years, but, not less than one year. In the current Act, punishment for such behaviour is just one to three months of jail and a fine of Rs 200 to Rs 500. As per the Bill, police officials found guilty of helping bootleggers in escaping during raids would attract a punishment of seven years in jail and Rs one lakh in fine.
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