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Prima facie offence under the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act 2016 established, hence Bail application rejected: Patna High Court

When the ownership of the car containing illicit liquor is either jointly owned by the petitioners or one of them, both being full brothers and further, that the person, who was arrested, having stated that both of them were involved in manufacturing and selling of illicit liquor, an offence is prima facie made out under the Act. This was said in the case of Vikash Kumar vs The State Of Bihar [CRIMINAL MISCELLANEOUS No.34708 of 2020] by Mr. Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah in the High Court of Judicature at Patna

 The facts of the case are that there is an allegation against the petitioners is that they were in the business of manufacturing and selling of liquor in course of which the police had caught one person and 150 litres of illicit liquor was recovered from their ALTO 800 Car. The petitioners apprehend arrest in connection with the case instituted under Sections 272/273 of the Indian Penal Code and 30(a) of the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’). 

Learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that they have been falsely implicated. Secondly, it was submitted that even as per the FIR, there were two persons in the car; one was caught and another managed to run away and the person, who was arrested, had disclosed the name of the petitioners. However, it was submitted that only one person managed to run away and the petitioners cannot be held responsible. It was further submitted that the petitioners have no criminal antecedent. 

On a query of the Court as to the ownership of the vehicle, though the same has not been disclosed in the application, learned counsel submitted that it was in the name of petitioner no.1

Learned Additional public prosecutor on behalf of the State submitted that the person, who was caught, has stated that he was the driver employed by the petitioners and that the car was of the petitioners and they were in the business of manufacturing and selling of countrymade liquor. Thus, it was submitted that the petitioners, being full brothers, were together in the business of illicit liquor and, accordingly, the present application would not be maintainable in view of bar of Section 76(2) of the Act.

Having considered the facts and circumstances of the case and submissions of learned counsel for the parties, the Court said that “once, when, admittedly, the ownership of the car is either jointly of the petitioners or one of them, both being full brothers and further, that the person, who was arrested, having stated that both of them were involved in manufacturing and selling of illicit liquor, prima facie, offence is made out under the Act”. Hence, the present bail application stands disposed off as not maintainable.

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