Now one can enjoy his drinks in Bihar at his leisure as in a major blow to Nitish Kumar-led government, the Patna High Court on Friday struck down the state's Prohibition of Liquor Act. The court termed the act as 'illegal', reported ANI.
The Bihar Prohibition and Excise Bill -2016 had strict provisions such as possible arrest of all members of a family if a liquor bottle is found in a house. In the new bill, all sections were made non-bailable, where only courts can grant bails and not police stations. If the Bill were to come into effect, only special courts have the authority to try cases related to violation of the Bihar Prohibition Law.
On April 5, 2016, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced a complete ban on alcohol in the state with immediate effect. Fulfilling a promise he had made to women before the assembly elections in the state, Nitish Kumar had on November 26, announced his plan to effect a liquor ban in the state.
In June this year, Nitish Kumar had claimed that there has been a drastic decline in the percentage of crimes in the two months after complete prohibition was imposed in the state. "Heinous crimes have come down by 15% in last two months," he had said.
Bihar is India's third most-populous state and the most recent, after Kerala, to opt for banning alcohol. More than 13,000 people have been arrested since April, when Mr Kumar did away with his original plan to ban liquor in phases, and declared complete prohibition.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court also dismissed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashwani Upadhaya's plea, seeking a complete ban on liquor across the nation.