Facing criticism over the liquor ban, the Nitish Kumar government has decided to introduce the Bihar Liquor Prohibition Bill 2022 in the state Assembly on Wednesday.
Under the amendment, there is a provision for the first-time offenders to get bail from the duty magistrate after depositing a fine. In case the offender is not able to deposit the fine, he/she is liable to face one month in jail.
There is also a provision that when an offender is nabbed by the police for the ban violation, the accused has to disclose the name of the person from where liquor was obtained.
The Nitish Kumar government seeks to pass the Bill in the Vidhan Sabha smoothly and has distributed copies of the amendment Bill to every MLA to read it.
The Bihar Chief Minister imposed a liquor ban in April 2016 in the state through the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act. After the ban, a large number of people have been lodged in jails only for liquor consumption. The majority of the violators belong to economically weaker sections and the poor people. Even hearing for bail in simple cases is taking one year time in the courts.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana had said last year that the decisions like the liquor ban of the Bihar government in 2016 have put a huge burden on courts. “There are three lakh cases pending in the courts. People are waiting for justice for a long time and now the excessive cases related to liquor violations put an additional burden on courts,” the CJI had said.