New law banning sale and consumption of liquor comes into immediate effect, four years after it was being sold in the Northeast state
Aizawl: The northeastern state of Mizoram will once again become a complete dry state with the new law that bans sale and consumption of liquor coming into effect from Tuesday, four years after liquor was being sold here.
“State law and judicial department will notify the new liquor law on Tuesday with immediate effect after which selling and consumption of liquor will be legally completely banned,” state excise and narcotics commissioner Ngurchungnunga Sailo told EastMojo.
Sailo said that framing of rules under the liquor law has been completed and were referred to the law and judicial department for final vetting. The rules, however, are unlikely to be laid in the upcoming assembly session to be held from June 12, he added.
Officials of the excise and narcotics department said that the liquor law was passed by the state legislature in March but could not be implemented with immediate effect due to imposition of election model code of conduct in view of the Lok Sabha polls and assembly by-elections.
The Election Commission on Monday lifted the model code of conduct.
The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Bill, 2019 was passed by the state legislature on March 20 replacing the 4-year old ‘The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition & Control) or MLPC Act, 2014’ introduced by the erstwhile Congress government, which allowed opening of wine shops in the state.
The MLPC Act came into effect in January 2015.
Banning liquor was the pre-poll promise of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) headed by chief minister Zoramthanga.
The new liquor law introduced by excise and narcotics minister Dr K Beichhua sought to prohibit import, export, transport, manufacture, possession, sale and consumption of alcohol in the state barring three autonomous district councils in the south.
State governor Jagdish Mukhi had given nod to the bill.
Soon after assuming power in December, the MNF government had closed down nine liquor shops run by government agencies. Altogether, there were 43 liquor shops, three bonded warehouses, two bars and one micro brewery run by private owners across the state, whose licences expired on March 31.
The Aizawl bench of the Gauhati High Court by an order on April 13 had put on hold the proposed liquor law and allowed re-opening of wine shops till May 27 following appeals by liquor vendors to dispose of their stocks.
Sources said that the liquor vendors and warehouse dealers had already disposed of their stocks by now.
Mizoram opened its first wine shop way back in 1984 and after 11 years of relaxation and partial prohibition, the Congress government led by Lal Thanhawla introduced 'The Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1995’, which imposed a complete ban on liquor.
The total prohibition law, which came into effect on February 20, 1997, was followed by the successive governments including the MNF until 2014, when the new Congress government introduced the MLPC Act.