The Patna High Court on Friday struck down the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act, which bans the sale of liquor across the state, calling it "illegal". The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed filed by a former Army officer, AN Singh, who argued that the law was a violation of citizens' right to eat and drink what they please, PTI reported.
The petition was filed on April 6, a day after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced his Cabinet's decision to impose a complete ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol in Bihar, including Indian-made foreign liquor, with immediate effect.
The amended Act was passed in the Bihar Legislative Assembly on March 31. The petition describes it as "draconian, arbitrary and malafide", saying it violates articles 14, 19, 21 and 22 of the Constitution, which provide citizens the right to equality before law, to carry on any trade or business, to personal liberty and to protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.