Liquor ban back in Bi­har af­ter Apex Court stays Patna high court or­der Amit Shah, Congress go to war on Rahul’s LoC strike com­ment

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com HT Cor­re­spon­dents let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The Supreme Court on Fri­day stayed a Patna high court or­der that quashed a Bi­har govern­ment no­ti­fi­ca­tion ban­ning the sale and con­sump­tion of liquor in the state.

The or­der came on an ap­peal by the Ni­tish Ku­mar govern­ment, which said that the high court’s Septem­ber 30 ver­dict im­peded its ef­forts to bring about com­plete pro­hi­bi­tion.

Two days af­ter the high court quashed the or­der, the state govern­ment – on Gandhi Jayanti – drew up a new anti-liquor law with harsher pro­vi­sions for vi­o­la­tors. These in­cluded plac­ing all adults in a house un­der ar­rest in the event of liquor be­ing re­cov­ered from its premises.

The apex court is likely to con­sider whether an in­di­vid­ual can claim liquor con­sump­tion as his/her fun­da­men­tal right un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion. Ku­mar and his govern­ment an­nounced pro­hi­bi­tion to ful­fil an elec­tion prom­ise ear­lier this year to women in a state where al­co­holism is a prob­lem in many fam­i­lies. Ap­prox­i­mately 16,000 peo­ple were booked for flout­ing the pro­hi­bi­tion law since it came into force on

April 5.

The rul­ing BJP and its main ri­val ac­cused each other on Fri­day of play­ing pol­i­tics over sol­diers’ sac­ri­fice, af­ter Congress vice-pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi said Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi was “prof­i­teer­ing” from the army’s sur­gi­cal strike on mil­i­tant hide­outs in Pak­istan.

BJP chief Amit Shah led the party’s counter-of­fen­sive against Gandhi’s ac­cu­sa­tion that Modi was do­ing “khoon ki dalali” or prof­i­teer­ing from the sur­gi­cal strikes on “ter­ror launch pads” across the Line of Con­trol, the de facto bor­der in Jammu and Kash­mir.

The strate­gic ac­tion was car­ried out af­ter last month’s mil­i­tant at­tack on the Uri army base in which 19 sol­diers were killed.

“Is the blood of our sol­diers some­thing that you can trade?” Shah asked and put the Congress leader’s re­marks in the same league as “maut ka sauda­gar”, an old com­ment from the party re­fer­ring to Modi.

The army raids were be­ing touted as re­venge for Uri and could be­come a talk­ing point for next year’s as­sem­bly elec­tions in Ut­tar Pradesh, Pun­jab, Ut­tarak­hand, Goa and Ma­nipur.

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