HC irked over process of destroying seized liquor in dry Bihar

Patna, April 8 : Patna High Court has taken strong exception to modus operandi being followed to destroy seized liquor in dry Bihar, saying it can pose serious threat to ecological balance and adversely affect fertility of the soil, and also directed state pollution control board to file a detailed study report in this connection. Justice Purnendu Singh while hearing a bail petition filed relating to violation of liquor ban recently, wondered over the process being followed by state authorities to destroy the seized liquor in dry Bihar. The vicinity where seized liquor was being destroyed could face serious consequences of ecological imbalance, he apprehended. The Court directed Dr Ashok Kumar Ghosh, Chairman of Bihar State Pollution Control Board, to file a comprehensive report on adverse affect of destroyed liquor on micro organism in soil and also on quality of water table. Due to consumption of illicit liquor, not only large number of people have lost their life but the illicit liquor had its further impact on the life of the people at large in whose vicinity the liquor has been destroyed, the court noted. ” The percolation of the liquor has caused the water table contaminated. The chemical composition of the liquor has affected the micro organism found in the soil leading to infertility of soil. Such contaminated water has further affected the general health of the people in the said vicinity. The State government before taking such action in destroying the liquor instead of seeking ‘no objection’ from the Bihar State Pollution Control Board has resorted to such measure which is against the mandates of directions contained in Article 47 of the constitution”, Justice Singh remarked. “Of course, this issue has not been taken care of. There must be harmony in conflict”, he noted. “Considering the aforesaid fact, the Bihar State Pollution Control Board being the advisory body, the Chairman of the Board is expected to take first of all serious steps to make a scientific assessment of the areas where the liquors are being destroyed by the state authorities nor the Bihar State Pollution Control Board has provided to issue no objection from the Board in accordance with provisions of Water-Air Pollution Act 1981”, Justice Singh maintained. “The State is under obligation to protect the life of the people. Article 47 mandates to take all measures for well being of the people. A complete report in this regard is expected to be submitted by Dr. Ghosh, the Chairman, Bihar State Pollution Control Board who is an acclaimed scientist to the State Government as well as before this Court considering the fact that destroying the illicit liquor is, in fact, leading to ecological imbalance within the vicinity where the same has been destroyed and has also become hazardous to human life”, he directed. “The State authorities mentioned in this order are required to submit a report in light of the observation made in the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case by April 12,” the court ordered. XC KKS BM

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