Bihar to provide for death penalty to enforce liquor ban

Patna, March 29 (IANS) Ahead of phased ban on manufacture and sale of liquor in the state, the Bihar government has decided to bring an amendment bill in the assembly on Wednesday to provide for death penalty for people found violating it.

“The state government will bring an amendment bill to include provision of death penalty for manufacturing illicit country liquor after ban comes into effect in the state from April 1,” Bihar Excise and Prohibition Minister Abdul Jalil Mastan told media here on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar last week announced the government in the ongoing budget session of the assembly would amend law to include provision of death penalty for manufacturing and sale of illegal liquor.

Mastan said in the first phase, manufacture and sale of country and spiced liquor would be banned followed by Indian-made foreign liquor later this year.

Last year, during campaigning for the 2015 Bihar assembly elections, Nitish Kumar announced an alcohol ban to be implemented from April 1.

The state minister said the poorest of the poor were consuming liquor, leading to family problems, domestic violence and affecting their children’s education. “Women are suffering more than anyone else due to increasing liquor consumption.”

According to officials, the ban decision was expected to impact the state government’s financial health. Bihar earns an annual revenue of around Rs.3,650 crore from liquor sale.

To provide the livelihood of those involved in the liquor business, the government has offered them to sell products of the state-run Bihar State Milk Cooperative Federation Ltd. under the brand name “Sudha Dairy”.

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