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MP Assembly clears Bill on death penalty, life term in spurious liquor cases

Bhopal, August 10

The Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Tuesday passed a Bill prescribing capital punishment and life imprisonment in cases related to deaths caused by consumption of spurious liquor.

The bill amending the state Excise Act to enhance punishment in spurious liquor cases was presented by Finance and Excise Minister Jagdish Devda, and the legislation comes in the wake of the death of a dozen people recently.

Assembly speaker Girish Gautam declared it passed without any discussion amid sloganeering by Congress legislators who were demanding the implementation of the 27 per cent quota for OBCs in jobs and education announced by the erstwhile Kamal Nath government.

The Madhya Pradesh Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was proposed by the state government in the backdrop of the death of at least seven people after drinking spurious liquor in Mandsaur last month.

Later, five persons died following liquor consumption in Indore.

Under the Bill, provisions of life imprisonment and the death penalty have been made in cases related to deaths due to spurious liquor besides imposing a fine of Rs 20 lakh on culprits, a Public Relations Department official said.

Earlier, there was a provision of imprisonment up to 10 years in such cases.

Earlier this month, Home Minister Narottam Mishra had said that punishment has been increased, ranging from 10 years to maximum 14 years from the present one year to six years, in addition to fine up to Rs 10 lakh, in cases of “physical damage” caused to victims after drinking poisonous alcohol.

He had said in case of seizure of spurious liquor, the jail term for culprits has been increased to six to ten years from the present six months to a maximum of four years.

The amendment in the Bill also proposed that people who attack police and excise department teams while they are seizing illicit liquor will be arrested without a warrant. The scope of punishment has been increased in several other provisions also. — PTI

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