Patna : The Bihar assembly on Monday passed the Bihar Excise and Prohibition Bill, 2016 providing for arrest of entire adult members of a family where liquor is found, with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar claiming that he was fulfilling the wishes of Mahatma Gandhi on the 100th year of Champaran Satyagraha.

BJP members walked out of the House and went to Raj Bhawan in a protest march alleging it was a draconian Bill.

Nitish said, he was determined to have total prohibition in Bihar unlike Gujarat where liquor was available on permits.

He asked RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and prime minister Narendra Modi to clarify their stand on prohibition as the BJP-ruled neigbouring state Jharkhand was illegally supplying liquor to Bihar.

Without naming the RJD president Lalu Prasad, Nitish said: “some champions of toddy tappers have appeared overnight demanding lifting of ban on toddy tapping. I can be finished, but I will not roll back my decision on total prohibition. Since,the toddy tapping season is now over, there will be ban on toddy from next year.” Lalu had demanded scrapping of ban on toddy which was incorporated in the Excise Act implemented on April 1,2016.

He said the provision to imprison entire adult family member was incorporated following the experiences since April.

When liquor was found in a house, the houseowner used to tell the excise and police officers that it was kept by their minor daughter. Now,all adult members would go to jail, if liquor was found in their house or premises, he said.

Maintaining that he was determined to enforce total prohibition, Nitish said peace and tranquility prevailed in the villages with ban on liquor and crime rate too has come down in last four months.

A new provision has been incorporated in the new act for penal action against the excise and police officers for falsely implicating any one under the Excise act.

They would face dismissal, imprisonment of three years, fine of Rs one lakh and prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act .

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Free Press Journal