Law

Bihar: High Court Strikes Down Liquor Prohibition Law

Representational image. Credit: Shankar S./ Flickr CC BY 2.0

Representational image. Credit: Shankar S./ Flickr CC BY 2.0

The Patna high court on Friday, struck down the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Bill 2016, as illegal. The Financial Express reported that the prohibition has been responsible for leaving a lot of revenue for the state untapped, while on the other hand illegal bootlegging has been on the rise.

According to the Indian Expressthe decision came a day after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had managed to produce more than 40 JD(U) workers as spokespersons advocating the ban. After the imposition of the ban from April 5, Kumar has persistently claimed that the Bill has brought positive change to Bihar. The Bill, however, had not been well-received, with many calling it draconian. It have extremely strict provisions where entire families could be arrested if a liquor bottle happened to be found in the house.

The court struck the Bill down because it was found to be in contravention to Article 14 and Article 21 of the constitution. The former ensures equality before law, which the law violates because it implicates family members or other people for crimes that are not their own. The Bill violates the latter because it deprives people of their lives and personal property.