A public interest litigation (PIL), challenging penal provisions in the Bihar Excise (amendment) Act 2016 for violation of total liquor ban in Bihar, was filed in the Patna high court on Wednesday.
Petitioner Awadh Narayan Singh, a resident of Gaurichak in Patna district, said sections 4(22), 5, 6(4), 47, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 55, 57, 61, 63, 64, 67(K) and 68(J) of the amended Act were “draconian and arbitrary”.
Singh said all punishments under the amended Act were excessive, disproportionate to the offences and in contrast to what had been prescribed in other states where sale and consumption of liquor were banned.
Any ban on drinking or food habit was violation of human rights and therefore the petitioner and others moved the state human rights commission on March 31, 2016 against the prohibition, Singh said.
Apart from violation of human rights, the Act also required to be adjudicated on the matter of the law and provisions of “excessive punishment disproportionate to offence” by a competent court of law, the petitioner said.
Singh also challenged the statement of principal secretary, excise department, that one could not drink liquor in rural areas. “Being a retired Indian Air Force personnel, I am entitled to my quota of liquor every month from the CSD canteen,” the petitioner said, adding that many ex-servicemen were based in villages.