Patna High Court revokes ban on production of industrial spirit in Bihar

In an indictment of Bihar’s Nitish Kumar-led government, Patna High Court on Wednesday revoked the ban on production of industrial spirit by distilleries in the state.  

Published: 03rd May 2017 07:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd May 2017 07:57 PM   |  A+A-

Patna High court

Express News Service

PATNA: In an indictment of Bihar’s Nitish Kumar-led government, Patna High Court on Wednesday revoked the ban on production of industrial spirit by distilleries in the state.  

A bench headed by Chief Justice Rajendra Menon found merit in the contention of the petitioners, a group of distilleries operating in the state, that the spirit they produce is widely used in different industries and that it is not confined to the manufacturing of alcoholic liquor. 

“The state government has no right to ban the production of spirit as it is used in various other industries apart from making liquor,” the high court said in its verdict on the petition filed by Global Spirit Limited and others challenging the state government’s decision. 

In January, a few days before organising a state-wide human chain in support of total prohibition enforced in Bihar, the Nitish Kumar-led government had decided not to renew the licence of liquor manufacturing units in the state for 2017-18. The government had also issued a notification banning the production of spirit in the state. 

The government’s decision was reportedly aimed at neutralising caustic criticism from the state’s main Opposition party BJP which had been dubbing the total prohibition as “hypocritical” due to the continuing production of alcoholic beverages in Bihar. Total prohibition has been in force in Bihar since April 2016. Consumption, distribution, sale, purchase and possession of alcoholic beverages is punishable under a law described by many as draconian. 

The HC verdict brought relief to the 13 distilleries operating in the state. “Spirit manufacturers had made massive investments in the state in the months before total prohibition was imposed. Now, their investment is not going to be wasted,” said Satyaveer Bharti, the lawyer who argued the case for the distilleries in the high court. 

The state government, however, may appeal against the HC verdict in the Supreme Court. “We are yet to receive a copy of the high court verdict. We will study it and decide the next course of action,” said Neeraj Kumar, spokesperson of the ruling JD (U).

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp