High court strikes down Ni­tish’s liquor ban in Bi­har

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Prashant Pratap and Arun Ku­mar let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

To­tal pro­hi­bi­tion in Bi­har ceased to ex­ist from Friday with the Patna high court strik­ing down a ban on In­dian made for­eign liquor (IMFL) in the state, deal­ing a body blow to chief min­is­ter Ni­tish Ku­mar’s pet ini­tia­tive.

But tip­plers’ joy may be short lived as the state gov­ern­ment plans to go ahead with a mod­i­fied ver­sion of the pro­hi­bi­tion law – with more strin­gent mea­sures – on Sun­day, de­spite ques­tions about its le­gal­ity.

In a 150-page judg­ment, the HC quashed an April 5 no­ti­fi­ca­tion that banned the man­u­fac­ture, con­sump­tion and sale of IMFL, say­ing the or­der was “ul­tra vires to the Con­sti­tu­tion, hence not en­force­able”.

Sources said the gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to ap­proach the Supreme Court against the HC or­der. At the mo­ment, with the new act not no­ti­fied yet and the old act quashed, Bi­har is with­out pro­hi­bi­tion of IMFL un­til Sun­day.

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