After shutting liquor shops, Bihar seeks suggestions on prohibition

The government is said to have taken this step to avoid embarrassment in SC

November 01, 2016 11:12 pm | Updated December 02, 2016 12:50 pm IST - Patna:

A month after implementing the new stringent Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act 2016, Bihar government on Tuesday invited the general public to provide feedback and suggestions regarding its provisions through email, postal mail or fax till November 12.

The Supreme Court is to shortly hear a petition regarding prohibition in the State and the government is said to have taken this step to avoid any embarrassment.

‘Draconian and stringent’

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was in Delhi on Tuesday and he met the State counsel in Supreme Court to discuss, according to sources, the prohibition law which has been termed by Opposition parties as “draconian and stringent”. “The State government has implemented the new Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act 2016 from October 2. Many people have termed the legal provisions of the new act as stringent and questioned it but did not put forth any constructive suggestions. The government, therefore, appeals to the common people to come forward with suggestions on the provisions and implementations of the new prohibition act,” said an advertisement issued by the state’s Registration, Excise and Prohibition department in a local newspaper.

A source in the government told The Hindu : “Some provisions in the new act are impractical and draconian and may not be approved by the apex court, therefore the state government has been exploring escape routes to save its face.”

According to the source, the state government might bring in some amendments to the law in the winter session of the state Assembly, likely to be held from November 25 to December 2.

Over 18,000 people have been sent to jail so far for violating prohibition laws since April 5 this year, when prohibition came into effect in the state, and several lakh litres of liquor were seized.

“Nitish Kumar now should apologise to the people of the state for implementing the draconian provisions of prohibition for which he has now appealed to the same people for suggestions,” said BJP leader and Union minister of state Giriraj Singh.

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