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One step back

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Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s cabinet has cleared the relaxation of some draconian provisions of the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act of 2016. First offences will attract a fine rather than imprisonment, vehicles and premises where liquor is found will no longer be seized and all adult family members of a drinker will no longer be arrested. The last was especially outrageous, criminalising many for the transgression of one, and charges of the misuse of powers have been levelled. The relaxation of such provisions is a welcome step. While the objective of the policy may arguably have been well-intentioned, turning over a public health issue to the police is an unreliable and problematic solution.

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© Indian Express