The Supreme Court Friday stayed the operation of a Patna High Court judgment that had quashed the Bihar government’s notification on banning sale and consumption of all types of liquor.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Uday U lalit also issued notices to liquor manufacturers and others, on whose plea the High Court had held as illegal and unconstitutional the state government’s prohibition law.
However, the apex court’s order of stay effectively does not change the position on the ground as on October 2, the Nitish Kumar government notified a new law to ban liquor and the new law is in force now.
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During the hearing, the bench observed that liquor and fundamental rights might not go together, since no manufacturer could argue that he had a fundamental right to get a licence to either manufacture or sell liquor.
The Bihar government has challenged the High Court verdict of September 30, which had quashed the notification banning consumption and sale of liquor in the state on the ground of it being a case of excessive legislation and in derogation of fundamental rights.