Hitting a new high in its bid to ensure an alcohol-free Bihar, the Nitish Kumar's government in the state has passed an amendment to its prohibition law which says that government officials can not consume liquor anywhere, on home soil or overseas. The Bihar cabinet cleared an amendment in the state prohibition law earlier this week, after which bureaucrats, judges or magistrates caught drinking anywhere in the world will be punished.
Briefing newspersons, principal secretary of cabinet secretariat department Brijesh Mehrotra said the cabinet also approved amendments to the Bihar higher judicial service rules, which envisaged appointment of judges of high courts on an annual basis.
Incidentally, only a couple of days ago at the Chief Minister's Lok Samwad (public dialogue) meeting, a citizen, Rakesh Kumar Sharma suggested to Nitish Kumar that random Ethyl Glucuronide test on IAS and IPS officers should be done to check for liquor consumption through urine samples. Service rules for officials, which banned them only from drinking on duty, have been amended. Now the ban will apply even when they are outside Bihar. The amended service conduct rules are applicable even to officials on deputation to the Centre or other State, or even overseas. In March 2016, the Bihar Assembly unanimously passed the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Bill 2016.
Government officials in Bihar can reportedly face salary cuts, suspension and even dismissal if found drinking anywhere in the world.
Officials of Bihar, which went dry 10 months ago, can not drink outside the state or even overseas, in Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's new rule.
Legal experts termed the new conduct rules "debatable" but accepted that it was within the rights of the executive and the legislature to impose them.