Libertatem Magazine

‘Reasonable Delay Clause’ in the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act Should Mean a Reasonable Time: Patna High Court

Contents of this Page

Facts of the Case

The Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) prohibits the manufacture, storage, distribution, transportation, possession, sale, purchase, and consumption of any intoxicant or liquor unless so allowed in terms of the act and the things used for the offence can be confiscated. Car of the Petitioner was confiscated under this act thus he filed an appeal for its release.

Arguments of the Petitioners

The learned counsel requested for the orders to initiate a proceeding by the authority within 15 days as the matter is long due and the order should be given within 30 days. If the authority concludes that the property is not liable to be confiscated then the Petitioner should have a right to seek damages. The word ‘reasonable delay’ in the Act should be within a reasonable time i.e. within three months.

Court’s Opinion

Keeping in mind the pandemic situation, the High court opined that there is no certificate copy required of the order as it is available on the court’s website. Further, it directed the authority to decide at the earliest, failing to which the confiscated property will be released by the court without further proceeding. Liberty was reserved to the petitioner to take recourse to such remedies as are otherwise available as per the law if the need so arises subsequently. The petition stood disposed of. 

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