HC directs CS to give details of action for speedy disposal of over 2 lakh liquor cases

Patna, Nov 22 (PTI) The Patna High Court on Friday sought details of action from the Bihar government for speedy disposal of over two lakh cases arising out of the enforcement of prohibition law in the state.

A division bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh directed the Chief Secretary to file reply giving details about creation of special courts, extra courts and infrastructure facilities to ensure faster disposal of cases under prohibition law that have piled up to over two lakh in the subordinate courts.

The chief secretary will file a detailed reply on an affidavit by December 4, 2019, when the matter would be taken up for hearing again.

Complete prohibition was enforced by the Bihar government in April 2016 under which manufacturing, storage, transportation, selling and consumption of all types of liquor are banned.

Advocate General Lalit Kishore, appearing for the state government, submitted before the bench that the state government has already created 74 posts of judges for setting up special courts under the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 in order to carry out trial in liquor related cases.

But the issue is pending for approval in the high court, Kishore contended while submitting that the day the high court gives its approval, special courts will start functioning.

The court passed the order while hearing a case arising out of an earlier order passed by the single bench of Justice Anil Kumar Upadhyay on August 21, 2019.

The single bench had expressed concern over the pendency of over 2.07 lakh cases related to the liquor law in subordinate courts till July 8, 2019.

'It (Pendency) has reached alarming proportion and in the absence of adequate courts, judicial officers and support staff the case management is impossible,' it had said.

Around 1.67 lakh people were arrested and 52.02 lakh litres of liquor seized under the prohibition law in past three years, it had said.

The single bench had sought a detailed reply from the chief secretary as to what the government has done for quick disposal of prohibition-related cases. PTI AR SNS SNS