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Bihar set to amend Prohibition Act after being rebuked by Supreme Court

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Bihar government has apprised the Supreme Court that it has decided to amend the Bihar Prohibition Act in the wake of concerns expressed by the Apex Court earlier regarding the law leading to a surge in arrests, which in turn led to the clogging of the Courts with bail applications.

Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the state of Bihar, on Tuesday told the Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh that the state government has decided to amend the legislation, to make it more efficacious.

The amendment will be brought in the upcoming Assembly session of Bihar and all relevant concerns will be taken care of, said Kumar.

Last week, the Court had asked the State of Bihar to inform it about the legislative impact assessment carried out before brining the law regarding its effect on the judicial infrastructure.

The Court had observed that the trial Court and the High Court were both being crowded by bail applications to an extent that at some stage 16 judges of the High Court were listening to bail matters and prosecutions under the Act concerned, which formed a large part of it.

The bench said liquor problem was a social issue and every state has the right to frame law to deal with it, but there has to be some study on litigation it was likely to generate, the kind of infrastructure needed and the number of judges needed for hearings.

Justice Sundresh pointed out that most of the people being arrested under the law were from the lower strata and if the government arrests, say father, then his son will get into this and later his wife.

The bench said the state has to look at all aspects before bringing these kinds of laws and fixed it for further hearing in the first week of May.

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