Bihar liquor ban: SC allows manufacturers to export old stocks worth Rs 200 crore by 31 July

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday modified its earlier order and allowed liquor manufacturers from Bihar to export their old stocks of alcoholic beverages worth over Rs 200 crore outside the state till 31 July.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

A vacation bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Deepak Gupta passed the order on the application in which the manufacturers had contended that the apex court's 29 May order spoke about time to destroy the stock but it did not indicate anything about its "export" outside the state.

The manufacturers had told the bench that there were two issues — destruction of old stocks and export — in the plea filed earlier and the apex court's 29 May order mention only about time to destroy the stock.

After the brief hearing on Thursday, the bench said, "sufficient grounds have been made out to allow the application" in terms of the prayer seeking clarification of the earlier order.

In the 29 May order, the court had said, "Time to destroy /drain the stocks is extended up to 31 July, 2017. It is made clear that no further extension will be granted in future."

Earlier, the court had extended the deadline for disposing old stocks from 30 April to 31 May. This will include raw material, fixed by the Nitish Kumar government which had imposed a ban on liquor in the state from 1 April, 2016.

The apex court had on 31 March granted time till 31 May to dispose of the old stocks and directed them to follow the resolution passed by the Bihar government on disposal of stocks following the imposition of prohibition in the state.

The Bihar government, which has prohibited consumption, stocking and sale of liquor in the state had on 30 March passed a resolution by which it has allowed the companies to export their old stocks to other states.

The state government had granted time to export excisable and non-excisable articles till 30 April, after which they will not be able to do so.

On 7 October, 2016, the apex court had stayed the operation of Patna High Court judgement quashing the state's law banning sale and consumption of all types of liquor, saying liquor and fundamental rights "do not go together".

Bihar government has challenged the high court verdict of 30 September, 2016, which had quashed the notification banning consumption and sale of liquor in the state.

However, after the law was set aside, Bihar government had come out with a new law banning sale and consumption of liquor which was notified on 2 October, 2016.

It had notified the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 to ensure that the ban on sale and consumption of alcohol including Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) as well spiced and domestic liquor, continued in the state.

Updated Date: Jun 08, 2017 15:49 PM

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