SC firm on deadline, Bihar alcohol makers will now need to destroy 2.8 lakh bottles
Booze makers in Bihar were left with Rs 200 crore worth of liquor stocks after the state banned its sale, consumption and trade. They had till July 31 to export the bottles to other states.india Updated: Jul 31, 2017 18:54 IST
The Supreme Court refused on Monday to extend the July 31 deadline for Bihar-based alcohol makers to export unsold stocks outside of the state, leaving them with no option but to destroy more than 2.8 lakh bottles.
Bihar ordered a ban on alcohol last year, giving distillers time till March 30 to get rid of their old stocks but the deadline was extended to July-end by the top court.
“(Extending the deadline) would amount to giving indulgence to you,” a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra told the lawyer for the association of alcohol companies.
The state’s counsel has opposed the request by the companies.
“There will be law and order problem if more time is given to them,” said Bihar state counsel Keshav Mohan.
The companies said that they could not shift their stocks because the states accepting the liquor did not grant necessary clearances in time.
When it got the extension of deadline in May, the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies said the liquor stocks were worth more than Rs 200 crore and destroying them would cause significant financial losses.
The Nitish Kumar government first banned manufacture, trade, sale and consumption of country-made liquor on April 1, 2016. Later, a blanket ban was announced on all types of alcohol.