LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday said his party was not opposed to prohibition in Bihar, but disapproves penal provisions that violate the fundamental right and right to privacy of a citizen. The Union minister, however, refused to comment on Congress Vice president Rahul Gandhi's "dalali" comment against Prime Minister Narendra Modi citing the instruction of the PM to avoid making statement in public over the surgical strike across the LoC.
"Army is working efficiently and public is watching everything," Asked about Supreme Court's order on Friday staying the Patna High Court judgement setting aside Bihar liquor law, he said, "Our party's stand is clear from day one that we are in favour of prohibition and not opposed to it. But we disapprove of harsher penal provisions under new liquor law that violates citizen's fundamental right and right to privacy."
The party is of the view that a police officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police be allowed to carry out search/inspection of any premises without warrant as it would be against "natural justice", he said. Taking potshots at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Paswan said, "Kumar is trying to propagate liquor law in order to become Mahatma Gandhi and is trying to send to jail all adult members of a family if a liquor bottle is found in a house besides imposing fine."
"If all adult members of a family can be jailed in the event of recovery of a liquor bottle, then the Chief Minister should also go to jail for heading the government in the state over recovery of bottle in the state," he said. "The stay granted by the Supreme Court does not mean that the matter has been decided. The apex court is examining the matter and hearing of the case is yet to start," he said on today's order. The Patna high court had on September 30 held the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act 2016 as per which the state government had notified on March 31, 2016 bringing the state under "prohibition" regime.
Without much lapse of time, the Bihar government notified new Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act 2016 on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti incorporating stringent penal provisions such as sending all adult members of a family to jail if a liquor bottle is found from his/her premises. Within a few days, the state government filed an appeal in the apex court against the high court judgement in order to protect its (government's) actions such as arrests, search and seizures made under the said Act.