The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Monday took a dig at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his relentless endeavour to ban consumption and sale of liquor in Bihar, saying the latter is hell bent on pursuing this goal as he sees alcohol consumption as being responsible for his state’s backwardness.
NCP leader Majeed Memon said, “As a matter of fact, Nitish is hell bent on having complete prohibition in Bihar because he believes that it is liquor that has brought and is bringing misery to people in Bihar. That is the fundamental reason for the state’s backwardness, not illiteracy, but this habit to drink.”
“He has passed a very strange and drastic law in the past, which was unfortunately set aside by the highest court because it was not judicious or fair,” he added. Commenting on the new law proposed by Nitish, Memon said, “Now, he is wanting to ward off that order of the court by coming forward with yet another law which would be equally stringent, and which may mot pass judicial scrutiny.”
Yesterday, Kumar said the liquor ban would be reinforced in the state, and if need be, his government would approach the Supreme Court on the matter. Asserting that liquor consumption is a social stigma, Nitish said that prohibition would improve society.
The new Act contains harsher provisions such as making all adults culpable in case a liquor-related offence is committed in a house and imposition of community penalty in case of repeated offence of manufacturing liquor or trading in it in a village.
Some of the old provisions that would find place in the new law are penalising someone for allowing use of premises for a liquor-related offence, penalising a company and everyone in charge of its affairs if the offender is a company, and fining the owner of a house from where utensils meant for making liquor are found.