Patna: The Bihar Cabinet on Wednesday okayed a proposal to bring an amendment in the service rule for government employees, including those from Judicial Services, forbidding the consumption of liquor by them everywhere in the light of total prohibition in the state.
The nod to amend Bihar Government Servants Conduct Rules, 1976 and Bihar Judicial Officers Conduct Rules, 2017 was given at a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar here, Principal Secretary Cabinet Coordination department Brajesh Mehrotra told reporters.
"At present, the service rules mandate that government officials cannot consume intoxicating drinks or drugs while on duty or at public places. The amendment has introduced two new points -- firstly, no government official will consume intoxicating drinks or drugs, and secondly, he or she will strictly adhere to it wherever they are," said Mehrotra.
The same has been extended for officials of Judicial services as well, Mehrotra said.
The rule would be amended in accordance with the spirit of new Liquor Law, 2016.
"If anyone is found breaching the new rules, departmental proceedings can be initiated against them and punishment, as decided by the appointing authority, can range from fine and suspension to demotion and service termination," the official said.
When asked about the how the government will find out about officials boozing outside Bihar, the official added, "Random medical tests, photographs on social media or even sting operations… if we get to know from anywhere, the erring official will be taken to task."
The total prohibition in force in Bihar stops trade and consumption of alcohol across the state and has made provision of stringent penal action as well jail term ranging from 5-10 years for the violators.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar imposed the liquor ban in the state on April 5, 2016.
Hundreds of thousands of people across Bihar formed a human chain in January to support the state government's prohibition policy, with CM Nitish Kumar claiming participation of more than three crore people in the record endeavour.
(With Agency inputs)