Monday, December 5, 2011

The Bombay Prohibition (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2009 ,Death for killer hooch brewers in dry Guj,Guv Clears Bill After Two Years

Gandhinagar: It will be death for those who brew killer hooch in dry Gujarat. Two years after it was cleared by the Gujarat assembly, governor Dr Kamala gave her stamp of approval to the Bombay Prohibition (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2009 on Monday. With this all those found guilty of making and supplying spurious hooch will face the death penalty.
Last year, the governor had asked the state government to consider dropping the death penalty. The government, however, asserted that the provision “must stay in order to instil a feeling of fear in the minds of the criminals responsible for the outrageous act”.
Struck by the worst-ever hooch tragedy, which killed over 150 people in July 2009, the Narendra Modi government had effected an amendment to the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949. With the governor’s assent, anyone involved in even transporting and stocking poisonous ‘lattha’ (methanol-based country liquor) would face action under this law. The original law provided for a maximum of one year imprisonment for those involved in manufacture or distribution of spurious liquor.
The new law will send convicts to jail for seven to 10 years for distilling and distributing illicit liquor. In case of deaths, the law seeks death sentence or life imprisonment. The bill also proposes impounding of vehicles used for transporting hooch and their auction.
When the governor had referred the bill to the Centre after the assembly passed it, the law ministry had sought an opinion from attorney general G E Vahanvati. He conveyed to the law ministry that the extreme penalty proposed in the bill was in sync with provisions of the Indian Penal Code.
Government sources said on Monday that the governor had climbed down from her original stand. Raj Bhawan, in its letter dated November 11, 2010, had returned the Bill saying the state assembly seemed to be overstepping its competence by allowing death penalty, which is “usually prescribed by central Acts”.
Opposition leader in the state assembly Shaktisinh Gohil said that the Congress had “on the whole supported” the bill but added that they wanted prohibition laws to be implemented more strictly in the state.

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