Bihar Governor finally approves Bihar Prohibition and Excise Bill

Patna : The Bihar Prohibition and Excise Bill, 2016 was formally approved by Governor Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday, Raj Bhawan officials said.

Last month, Bihar legislative assembly had passed the Bihar Excise and Prohibition Bill with voice vote amidst opposition boycott.

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The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party dubbed it a “black law” and a “draconian” measure. The party legislators introduced a series of amendments but all were defeated by a voice vote in the assembly during discussion.

According to experts, the new law has stringent provisions for ensuring a total ban on consumption of liquor in the state. Under the law, all adult members of the family could be arrested if liquor was found stored in any household.

The Chief Minister said the new legislation was required to plug gaping holes in the previous act that facilitated the liquor ban in the state with effect from from April 1.

Nitish Kumar has been repeatedly assuring that no innocent person will be harassed. He said seven excise officials were recently dismissed in Mohania in Kamiur district after they were caught indulging in corrupt practices.

According to Nitish Kumar, any official including police found misusing the law will face three years’ jail term and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.