The new excise policy, making consumption of liquor in public places a criminal offence, was approved by the Bihar cabinet at its meeting chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday.
If caught, offenders will face a jail term up to 10 years, according to the provisions of the new policy.
The policy will be notified after approval by the state legislature. If the government decides to go ahead with its prohibition plan from April 1, it will have to get the policy endorsed by the state legislature before that.
There is, however, no clarity whether the policy contains provisions for capital punishment to those indulging in production and sale of illicit liquor.
While a senior officer of the excise and liquor prohibition department claimed that the draft policy had provision for capital punishment, sources in the government said death penalty for those indulging in production of liquor in breach of the stipulated policy had been put on hold for now.
“Apart from banning consumption of liquor in public places, the new policy provides for fine up to Rs 5 lakh to those found involved in illegal trade of liquor. The policy also envisages stern punitive action against officials found indulging in promotion of the illegal trade,” said an official.
The cabinet also approved the proposal to restrict sugar mills from producing spirit. The mills would henceforth produce ethanol instead of spirit, the common byproduct of sugar-making process, the official added.http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/now-face-10-year-jail-for-drinking-liquor-in-public/story-O93ODzyBrz7XpjBw0iuz4N.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=tweet&utm_campaign=social
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