PATNA: Toughening further its stand towards liquor ban, the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar has approved a new excise policy under which drinking liquor at public places will be treated as a “criminal offence”.
Under the new policy which was approved by the state cabinet on Wednesday evening, one can face jail term up to 10 years if caught drinking or selling liquor in public places. Apart from this, the offenders will also have to cough up a fine of Rs 100,000 to Rs 500,000.
All these provisions will become laws once they are passed by the state assembly which is already in session. The new law will come into effect from April 1, the day when the state is scheduled to enforce total ban on sell and consumption of liquor in Bihar.
Bihar will be the fourth state to implement the liquor ban if it goes ahead with its plan. So far, there is a total liquor ban in states like Gujarat, Nagaland and Manipur.
The state cabinet also approved the proposal to restrict sugar mills from producing spirit. Instead, the mill will now be producing ethanol, a state government official said.
The state government has decided to enforce total ban on sale of liquor in the state in view of its pre-poll commitment to the women voters.
For the past several years, the women had been protesting on the streets seeking total ban on sale of liquor in the state citing rising case of domestic violence. They were asking the government as to how their drunken husbands had been spending the hard-earned money on buying liquor and also assaulting them up under its influence.
Angry women had even formed their own organizations, raiding the liquor brewing centres and then destroying them, blaming these outlets for all ills in the society.
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