In a major development, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to introduce death penalty for those dealing in spurious liquor if its consumption leads to death or permanent disability.
The state Cabinet has approved an important proposal seeking amendment to the Excise Act in this regard.
As per the proposal, the government will amend various sections of the UP Excise Act, 2010, and add a new Section 60 (A) for the purpose. The governor will soon promulgate an ordinance giving effect to the proposed amendments. The new section seeks to provide punishment to the guilty with life imprisonment or Rs 10 lakh penalty or both or capital punishment in case of a death or a permanent disability caused to a person/persons after consuming illicit liquor.
Uttar Pradesh has apparently taken a cue from Gujarat where Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as then CM, had introduced the provision of capital punishment in such an offense.
The authorities feel the provision for life imprisonment and death penalty may act as deterrent in the state where hooch tragedies take place frequently.
The excise department pointed out to the government that large-scale import of illicit liquor from some neighbouring states, especially Haryana, was not only making a significant dent into the department’s revenue but also causing hooch tragedies, leading to death or disabilities to people in the state.
In July, as many as 17 people died in Azamgarh after they consumed spurious liquor. Earlier in 2015, as many as 28 people died in a similar tragedy in Malihabad area of Lucknow.