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PIL seeks SIT probe into Bihar hooch tragedy

The PIL said that ever since the Bihar government prohibited liquor sales in the state in 2016, it has been criticised for its failure to enforce the prohibition.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi | Updated :

A PIL was filed in the Supreme Court on Friday, seeking an independent probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in a hooch tragedy that has claimed over 40 lives so far in Chhapra district of Bihar.

An advocate appearing for PIL petitioner Aryavarta Mahasabha Foundation sought to mention the matter for an urgent hearing but the bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha refused to hear the petition, mentioning that it was not listed.“If it is so important, you should have got it listed. We were listing till 10.25 am. However important the matter is, there is discipline in my court. Sorry,” Chief Justice Chandrachud told the advocate Pawan Prakash Pathak, who urged the bench to let him make the mentioning, pointing to its urgency.

The PIL petitioner NGO – Aryavarta Mahasabha Foundation – has sought the formulation of a national action plan to curb the manufacturing, trading and sale of illicit liquor.

The PIL petitioner organisation has further sought direction to the Bihar government to adequately compensate the victims’ family as because of its inaction, the rights of the people have been breached, and jeopardised.

The PIL has sought direction for the constitution of an independent Special Investigation Team to probe the hooch tragedy and for taking effective steps as per law of the land.

The PIL said that ever since the Bihat government  prohibited liquor sales in the state in 2016, it has been criticised for its failure to enforce the prohibition. It has pointed to the multiple hooch tragedies, resulting in scores of deaths, in the State.The state shares its borders with Nepal, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh and none of these states practices prohibition, and there is evidence that liquor is flowing into Bihar from the neighbouring states, given West Bengal and Jharkhand’s phenomenal rise in excise revenue, says the PIL.

The PIL said that this is not the first time that India has reported an incident of people dying after consuming spurious liquor. A similar case was reported from Gujrat, Punjab and Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka etc. in recent years as well causing loss of life.