A day ahead of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s ‘Lok Samvad’ to seek suggestions on liquor law, BJP on Sunday aired its ‘objections’ to some of the “draconian” and “Talibani” provisions of the law. “After the Patna High court dismissed the old and draconian liquor law (Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act, 2016), the Bihar government has sought suggestions from public to bring amendments to the new liquor law (Bihar Prohibition & Excise Act, 2016) to stand legal scrutiny in the Supreme Court,” senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said in a statement.
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BJP, the principal opposition, has been in support of the liquor law from day one but it was opposed to some of the
draconian and Talibani provisions of the law, Sushil Modi, the former Deputy Chief Minister said.
The party has already given its suggestions in both the houses of state legislature for bringing amendments into the
provisions of the existing liquor, he said. The provisions on which the party has severe objections included imposition of collective fine, Sushil Modi said while suggesting that action must be taken against the erring person
but the entire village cannot be held guilty for the fault committed by some.
Similarly, the quantum of punishment must be in conformity with the crime, he said adding that liquor law has
provisions which are even harsher than the crime for murder and rape. Sending entire family to the jail in the event of recovery of an empty bottle besides seizure of the premises for recovery of a liquor bottle are harsher provisions which must be done away with, Modi said.
The BJP leader asked when there is a prohibition in the state, what is the point in exporting liquor to other states, and suggested the state government should come out with provisions to compensate those who invested in the
liquor industry as per the government’s policy.
“Although, the government has not invited BJP to the Lok Samvad programme but despite this, we are reiterating our suggestions through media,” Modi said. CM Nitish Kumar would interact with people on Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 during his Lok Samvad programme on Monday.
A number of people have sent their feedback to the state government on prohibition in Bihar. The Bihar government had invited suggestions on the provisions of Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 between November 1 and 13. Kumar, however, dismissed speculations of the state moving back on the new liquor law and asserted that there was
no question of “diluting” the law after advertisements of excise department appeared seeking public opinion on it.
CM’s remarks had come in the wake of excise department’s advertisment in newspapers seeking opinion of the
public on Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 that was notified on October 2.