PIL challenging the Bihar govt’s total prohibition order filed in Patna High Court as protests begin
PATNA: A day after the Bihar government imposed a total prohibition in the state, a public interest litigation (PIL) was today filed in the Patna High Court, challenging the state government’s order.
The PIL was filed by a retired army official Awadh Narayan Singh.
“The ban order is against certain provisions of the Indian Constitution and restricts the people’s right to choice of food,” the complainant told the media on Wednesday.
Stating that the order is not “practical”, he said the decision was taken in a hurry. The complainant added even the penal provisions of made under the new excise law which was unanimously passed from both Houses state legislature are “draconian, arbitrary and malafide”.
The court has not fixed the date of hearing.
The PIL was filed a day after Nitish Kumar government in the state imposed a total ban on sale and consumption of any variety of liquor in the state.
The implementation of the ban means Bihar will go totally dry and that no any variety of alcohol will be available in the state—whether country made, spiced, foreign liquor or Indian Made Foreign Liquor although the liquor companies engaged in manufacturing has have been allowed to manufacture and supply the stock outside the state.
As per reports, Bihar has four liquor players in liquor business which include—McDowell’s, United Breweries, Carlsberg and Cobra beer promoted by global beer giant Molson Coors and Lord Karan Billmoria.
A prominent economist Dr Shaibal Gupta had described ban on liquor as a “just step” by the state government which he said will lead to proper growth of the families but the government should also see to it that this does not affect the flow of foreigners in the state.
“Prior to ban, a huge amount of money was being wasted on liquor. Now this money will be spent on the growth of family but the government should also ensure the liquor ban does not cause any convenience to our foreign guests and eventually they show their hesitations in visiting Bihar,” opined Gupta, member secretary at Patna-based Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), a non-profit civil society organization.
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