Uttarakhand Finance Minister Prakash Pant. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

Dehradun, Feb 22 : The Uttarakhand Assembly on Friday passed a bill to enact stringent laws in the wake of the recent hooch tragedy that left dozens of people dead.

The Uttarakhand (the United Provinces Excise Act, 1910) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by the House by a voice vote despite opposition by the Congress members, who were seeking tougher laws to curb the menace.

During the discussion, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prakash Pant said the bill will go a long way in curbing the menace of spurious liquor in the state.

He said under the new provisions, a person found guilty in the death caused by spurious liquor would face rigorous imprisonment of 7-10 years. A hefty fine of Rs 5-10 lakh will also be slapped on the convicts in cases where deaths occur.

In case of permanent disability or grievous injury, the imprisonment would be 6-8 years under the new bill.

The offence of selling spurious liquor has also been made non-bailable in the new bill. Investigations can be carried out without the orders of a magistrate.

The person who consumes illegal liquor in contravention of this Act, will face a fine of not less than Rs 5,000 which may be increased to Rs 10,000.

However, the Congress members were not happy with these provisions and demanded more stringent laws. Amid the ruckus, the bill was passed by a voice vote.

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