Supreme Court: In the Bihar Liquor ban case, the bench of Dipak Misra and A.M. Khanwilkar, JJ dismissed a plea of the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Company to extend the 31.07.2017 deadline for disposing of the old stock of alcoholic beverages outside the State of Bihar.
The traders had sought more time to get rid of the liquor stocks on the ground that over 2.8 lakh bottles were still left and would cause immense financial loss to them. The Court refused to grant the said relief to the traders and directed them to destroy the stock after 31st July.
The Patna High Court had last year, on 30.09.2016, quashed the law imposing liquor ban in the State of Bihar on the ground that the punishments imposed in respect of the Liquor ban in the State of Bihar by way of the amendment to the Bihar Excise Act, 1915 were quite unreasonable and draconian and cannot be justified in a civilized society. However, the division bench of Iqbal Ahmed Ansari, CJ and Navaniti Prasad Singh, J gave different views on whether or not the right to drink alcohol was a fundamental right. The Supreme Court, on 07.10.2017, stayed the Patna High Court Order.
However, the Bihar government had, on 02.10.2017, come up with the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 banning sale and consumption of liquor.