The Bihar cabinet on Tuesday approved a change in the Bihar Prohibition and Excise (Amendment) Act, 2022 which will allow authorities concerned to release vehicles carrying liquor in the dry state on payment of a far lower rate of penalty than that stipulated earlier, an official said.

The authorities can now release vehicles carrying liquor after payment of either 10 percent of the insured value of the vehicle or Rs five lakh as penalty by the legal owner after consulting the judicial authority, additional chief secretary S Siddharth said.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who had imposed total prohibition in Bihar in 2016.

The modified section will be notified soon by the government department concerned after completing mandatory formalities, he said.

The owner of a vehicle seized in Bihar for carrying liquor is at present is at present required to pay 50 percent of its insured value for its release after the Court’s permission.

The proposal for the amendment was mooted at the cabinet meeting by the prohibition, excise and registration department (excise).

Siddharth told reporters after the meeting that in certain cases it was found that owners of new vehicles carrying liquor are unable to pay 50 percent of its insured value. Besides, it was also realised that in some cases the vehicle owners were not involved in violation of the prohibition laws.

“The vehicle can only be released after due permission from the competent court. An appeal in this regard will have to be made before the district magistrate concerned,” he added.

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