Bihar on Wednesday approved amendments to the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016, changing some of its stricter provisions, which was earlier termed as ‘draconian’ by a section of the society.
The decision was taken by Council of Ministers lead by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the amendments are likely to be tabled in the upcoming Monsoon Session.
Nitish Kumar had hinted about making these changes at some his public meets. However, he had stated that liquor ban was here to stay in the state.
The state government has kept the amendments as secrets but according to latest reports, the new law does not have the provision of seizing property or vehicle, if liquor is found there.
The punishment of imposing heavy fine if liquor was found has also been removed, the reports said, adding that it’s either a three-month jail time or a monetary fine for the first-time offenders.
Those who have completed the jail time for breaking the law are also likely to be released by the government, added a source.
Bihar had imposed complete alcohol prohibition on 5 April, 2016, following which manufacturing, consumption or sale of liquor was banned in the state.
However, the law was challenged by different groups and the matter is being heard in the Supreme Court.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in an alliance with the JD-U and a part of the government in Bihar.