PATNA: The state government’s failure to enforce total prohibition in Bihar has put lives at risk, the Patna High Court has observed, adding that it has led to an already overburdened judiciary. Overcrowding has increased and drugs have grown exponentially. Addiction and use of lethally adulterated alcohol.
In an order uploaded on Tuesday, the court said, “The failure of the state authorities to enforce the total ban to protect the health, life and liberty of the people and their confidence in Bihar has endangered the lives of the citizens of the state.” There is danger.” .
Bihar imposed a total ban in April, 2016. Although there is no official data on the number of deaths in hooch tragedies, more than 50 people have died in hooch tragedies in different parts of the state this year alone.
“Statistics show that before 2015, there were hardly any drug-related cases, but after 2015, it has increased alarmingly. The more worrying trend is that most drug addicts 10 years and below 25 years of age,” the court said. “Statistics show that ganja/marijuana addiction has increased after prohibition. The state has failed to curb drug trafficking throughout Bihar.
While hearing the bail plea of Neeraj Singh, a resident of Muzaffarpur district, who has been in jail since November last year in a prohibition-related case, Justice Purindu Singh said on October 12, “He has been accused of rampant liquor manufacturing and smuggling. observed the trend. due to deliberate inaction of the State authorities” and referred the matter to the Chief Justice to take notice for public interest litigation in larger public interest.
“The ill effects of narcotic drugs are well established. That is why the framers of the Constitution saw it fit to include it in Article 47 of the Constitution in clear words when it is the duty of the State to raise the standard of living and improve public health. The Bihar Prohibition Act has been enacted with the said objective in mind, but for several reasons it finds itself on the wrong side of history,” Justice Singh said in the October 12 order.
The judge also referred to the Supreme Court order of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundaresh, which directed the state government to collect the number of cases under the Prohibition Act and the pending cases under the Excise Act. The apex court directed that a mechanism be devised to deal with what appears to be additional work by the state after the passage of the law, citing the increase in the number of cases in the lower court and the high court. The load must be applied. On an already overburdened judiciary, the judge said.
The Supreme Court had earlier directed the Bihar government to focus more on preventive measures to curb the sale and consumption of liquor in the state. The high court also referred to former Chief Justice of India NV Ramana’s December 2021 order, which rejected the Bihar government’s contention that bail orders were reasonable considering the quantity of liquor seized from an accused. Guidelines should be formulated to ensure
The High Court said the factors behind the failure of the Prohibition Act were smuggling of liquor outside the state and from neighboring Nepal and its mechanism, use of stolen vehicles using fake documents, minors in liquor transportation. Additions include omissions left by the investigating officers. In the search, seizure and investigation process, the failure of the state to take strict disciplinary action against errant officers, the prohibition of cheap hooch and drug use, led to a parallel economy of illegal liquor and a rapid increase in the consumption of illegal drugs. . And the resulting addiction.
“The state government has failed to develop a standard operating protocol for the treatment of patients so affected (due to the consumption of spurious alcohol). The high court said that there is no treatment modality to treat such patients.” which treat such patients due to spurious liquor by setting up a separate health centre/rehabilitation center or by involving expert/trained health care workers. Hotch has seen tragedies. This is the most alarming part which this Court has taken notice of.
“People’s lives are threatened not only by spurious liquor but also by rampant use of illegal drugs,” the bench said.