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Bihar govt approves amendments to stringent prohibition law

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

The government has approved amendments to the stringent in the state, proposing a reduction in the quantum of sentence for those held guilty of violating the anti-liquor

The nod to the proposed amendments, which would be tabled during the Monsoon Session of the scheduled later this month, was given at a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by late last evening, Principal Secretary, department, told mediapersons.

He, however, did not divulge the contents of the proposed amendment bill.

General told a channel that the amendments proposed a reduction in the quantum of punishment for those involved in sale and manufacture of liquor as well as for those consuming alcohol, including the first-time offenders.

Earlier, both the owner and the occupant of a property or vehicle, from which liquor was seized, were liable to be punished, Kishor said, adding that the amendments proposed shifting the onus primarily on the occupant.

Once the amendments come into force, those will be applicable to the new as well as the pending cases. In other words, those arrested under the old, stringent might also avail of the relief granted under the amendments, the general said.

The ban on sale and consumption of liquor was enforced in by the government in April, 2016.

Kumar had taken the radical step, which has cost the state exchequer about Rs 5,000 crore annually, in keeping with the promise he had made to the women voters in the run-up to the 2015 Assembly polls.

The law has, however, been termed as draconian by the opposition parties.

The himself has admitted of late that there have been complaints of misuse of its stringent provisions and promised that suitable amendments will be brought in.

The Monsoon Session of the state's bicameral legislature is scheduled to begin on July 20.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 16:10 IST