The Bihar Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Bill 2016 to enforce a ban on country-made liquor from April 1. The Bill, first introduced in 1915, was amended to incorporate stricter penal provisions, including the death sentence, for manufacturers and distributors of illicit liquor in the event of a hooch tragedy, reported The Indian Express. Only Gujarat has a similar law, reported NDTV.
All 243 MLAs of the Assembly, including Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar, rose from their seats and vowed they will not consume alcohol, adding that they would discourage others from doing so too. The chief minister said, "It's a historic day. It's a clear message that everyone is dedicated to making prohibition work."
Kumar added that in Phase 1 of prohibition, all shops selling country liquor in rural areas will be shut down on Friday. Phase 2, where alcohol is completely banned, is due to be introduced in six months.