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Nitish govt to thin down tough anti-liquor law in Bihar

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

A first time offender under Bihar's will be able to walk free after paying a fine instead of undergoing a five-year jail term, the state's top said today, a day after the Kumar government approved amendments to dilute its provisions.

Such an offender will have to pay a fine of Rs 50,000, state said, giving details about the proposed measures.

The government will table the amendments to the stringent Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 in the during the Monsoon Session scheduled later this month.

The nod to the proposed amendments was given at a meeting of the state Cabinet chaired by Kumar late last evening.

For failure to pay the fine, the offender, convicted for consuming liquor, will have to undergo three months jail term but for a second offence the prison term will be five years under the proposed measures, Kishore said.

The punishment for trade/manufacture of liquor has been reduced to a five-year sentence for the first offence while it will be 10 years if repeated, he said.

Earlier, both the owner and the occupant of a property or vehicle, from where liquor was seized, were liable to be punished but the amendments proposed shift the onus primarily on the occupant, the said.

The proposed measures also do away with collective penalty on a group of people or residents of a particular village if they are found to be repeat offenders, he said.

The HAD recently said that there have been complaints of misuse of the provisions of the law and promised to bring in changes.

and MLA told PTI, "The proposed amendments are a face-saving exercise by Kumar who is facing flak for the faulty of the "

He claimed that more than one lakh people, mostly poor Dalits, have been arrested under the statute in the last couple of years, while illicit liquor trade flourished with the connivance of the police and the administration.

Former and Hindustani Jitan Ram Manjhi, who was opposed to prohibition, said, "The proposed penalty of Rs 50,000 on first-time offenders would only fleece the poor. We reiterate the demand that the government scrap the

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

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 21:20 IST