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Bihar Assembly clears amendments to prohibition law

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Nitish Kumar Bihar assembly (IANS)20180723175726_l

Patna, July 23 (IANS) The Bihar Assembly on Monday passed amendments to the prohibition law to curb its misuse, amid a walkout by the opposition.

Speaking on the need for the Bihar Prohibition and Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2018, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said: "The main objective is to save innocent people from punishment."

According to the bill, the amendments would "…stop misuse of provisions of the law against the innocent and bring the punishment in proportion to the crime".

The Bill contains 16 amendments that offer relief to people found violating the various draconian provisions of the law.

Last week, the state cabinet, chaired by Nitish Kumar, approved the amendments, with special focus on removal of stringent provisions like sending the entire family to jail if liquor is found in their house.

Nitish Kumar had earlier said that a bill to amend the prohibition law would be brought during the assembly’s monsoon session in July, but asserted that prohibition would continue.

After being repeatedly attacked by the opposition over prohibition-related issues, he had admitted that some provisions were being misused and announced that the law would be amended.

Opposition leaders have alleged that the Dalits and OBCs were being harassed by the police in the name of prohibition.

More than 1.5 lakh persons have been arrested to date for violating prohibition in Bihar since it was imposed on April 5, 2016.

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