A total of 7,49,000 people were arrested in Bihar under liquor prohibition law till January 2023, while the conviction rate in cases related to violation is 21.98% till February 2023, as per the latest data of the Bihar government.
According to the data provided by the state government in the assembly, from 1 April 2016 to 20 February 2023, 5.63k cases related to violation of provisions under the Bihar prohibition and excise act were registered.
“The conviction rate is 21.98%,” state excise minister Sunil Kumar said while responding to a question in the state assembly recently. He said that 74 special courts (excise) have been made functional for the fast disposal of prohibition-related cases.
According to the data, 1.54 crore litre of illegal foreign liquor and 96.71 lakh litre of illegal countrymade liquor have been seized in Bihar since prohibition was implemented.
The minister, while referring to the strict implementation of the ban on liquor in the state, said that several efforts were made in the last few years to check the illegal flow of liquor to the state and illegal liquor-making units through regular raids, use of drones and setting up of check post at the inter-state borders.
“We are also using 1,040 breath analysers to detect people consuming liquor while hand-held scanners are also being used which helps in detecting liquor consignments hidden in vehicles,” the minister said in the assembly.
The government also gave details of how efforts like awareness programmes, such as nukkad nataks( street plays) and putting of posters, by the state have helped in educating people about the positives of prohibition of alcohol.
The minister further referred to a survey conducted recently by Chanakya Law University, Patna and Jeevika in which 99% of respondents of those surveyed had endorsed in favour of prohibition.
“The survey findings have highlighted how people in majority are in favour of banning liquor and how it has helped people to spend more on food, clothing, education of children and also helped to check domestic violence,” said the minister.
In Bihar, a complete ban on liquor was imposed in the state in April 2016. Under the excise act, there is a complete prohibition on the manufacturing, bottling, distribution, transportation, collection, storage, sale, possession, or purchase of any intoxicant liquor.
The state on April 28, 2022, issued the amended Bihar Prohibition and Excise (Amendment) Act, 2022, to further amend the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016.
The Act specifies the punishment for the consumption of liquor. The Bill instead empowers the state government to prescribe certain penalties for this category of offences.