Bihar liquor ban
Cheers in Bihar: Patna High Court strikes down liquor ban in state, calling it 'illegal'. [Representational image]Creative Commons

The Patna High Court on Friday, September 30, overturned the liquor ban that had been implemented in the state by the coalition government headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in April this year. The court, while delivering the verdict, called the prohibition "illegal."

The ban had come into effect only a few months ago, after Kumar came to power. The prohibition had been one of the poll promises of the Janata Dal-United, or JD-U, of which he is a part. Kumar had implemented the ban quite stringently, going so far as to fine entire villages for the fault of a few. 

Thus, when Kumar came to power in the state by forming a coalition with the Lalu Prasad-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), he implemented the Prohibition of Liquor Act after it was passed by the state legislature. It was this act that the Patna High Court struck down on Friday, thereby negating all the stringent steps he had taken to ensure its total and all-encompassing implementation. 

After his strict measures were called draconian by many, Kumar had even gone so far as to say he would do it to the whole of India if he had the power. He had said in a post on Facebook: "If I was appointed dictator for one hour for all India, the first thing I would do would be to close without compensation all the liquor shops. Nothing but ruin stares a nation in the face that is prey to the drink habit."