The Bihar cabinet has approved new service conduct rules for judicial officers and amended the existing rules for state government officials to ensure strict adherence to provisions of total prohibition.
The Bihar government had announced total ban on manufacture, sale and consumption of liquor in the state on April 5, 2016,. The ban was one of chief minister Nitish Kumar’s key poll promises made to women voters during the 2015 assembly elections.
As per the new norms, no judicial officer or state government official shall be under the influence of any intoxicants or drugs. “Departmental proceedings can now be initiated against judicial officers and state employees if they are found or reported to be violating provisions of the total prohibition policy,” said a senior officer.
While service conduct rules for state officials had been modified, the ones for judicial service officers were approved on the recommendations of the Patna high court.
The issue related to consumption of liquor by officials was raised at Bihar chief minister’s ‘Jan Samvad’ recently. It was alleged that action was seldom taken against any officer, even if they were found taking liquor.
Briefing newspersons, principal secretary of cabinet secretariat department Brijesh Mehrotra said the cabinet also approved amendments to the Bihar higher judicial service rules, which envisaged appointment of judges of high courts on an annual basis. Besides, the ratio of direct appointment and those appointed upon promotions, had also been changed.