The Bihar government moved the Supreme Court on Monday challenging the Patna high court order quashing the notification banning consumption and sale of liquor in the state.
The appeal against the HC’s September 30 verdict was mentioned before a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur that agreed to give Bihar government an urgent hearing on Friday.
Senior advocate Rajiv Dhavan and advocate Keshav Mohan urged the top court to stay high court order, quashing the government notification to ban liquor.
Two days after the HC quashed the order the state government had on Gandhi Jayanti come out with a new law banning liquor with harsher provisions such as arrest of all adults in the event of recovery of the contraband in their house.
While assailing the September HC verdict, the Bihar government urged the court to decide whether the state can impose absolute prohibition on distribution and consumption of liquor. Can an individual claim right to consume liquor as his or her fundamental right under the Constitution, the state has revealed.
It claimed that as a consequence of the HC order, the state government’s efforts to bring complete prohibition on liquor, in performance of its constitutional obligations, has been frustrated.
The HC had quashed a April 5 notification of the state government banning consumption and sale of alcohol in the state, saying it was ultra vires to the Constitution. Liquor Trade Association had challenged the liquor law brought in by the Nitish Kumar government with stringent penal provisions.
The Grand Secular Alliance government had first banned manufacture, trade, sale and consumption of country-made liquor since April 1, but later imposed a blanket ban on all types of liquor, including foreign liquor, in the state.