PATNA: Bihar government has appointed altogether 390 officers as special executive magistrates to hear cases related to new prohibition law in the state.
According to a notification issued by general administration department, special executive magistrates have been appointed under section 37 of Bihar Prohibition and Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2022.
A senior official of general administration department said that special executive magistrates will heard cases related to prohibition only. “It will depend on their discretion who to release on bail or not,” he added. The move assumed significance in the wake of relaxations to first-time offenders under new prohibition law. The Bihar Prohibition and Excise (Amendment) Bill 2022 talked about certain relaxations to first time offenders.
The Bill was tabled during budget session of the state legislator last month. Later it was sent to the governor for his approval. It will automatically turned into Act after the governor's nod.
The special executive magistrates have been deputed for a period of two years or till they were transferred from their previous places of posting.
As per new amendment in the prohibition law, first-time tipplers may be released on payment of fine. If they fail to pay the amount of fine, they may have to serve a term of one month.
The stringent prohibition law received flak from none other than the Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, who expressed concern over huge bail petitions related to prohibition law pending in courts in the state.
A little over 4 lakh cases have been lodged and 3.5 lakh people arrested ever since prohibition was enforced in Bihar in April 2016. Most of the people languishing in jails were stated to be tipplers and not involved in illegal smuggling of alcohol.
Earlier, the government had set up 74 special courts for hearing prohibition-related cases in the state.