UP recommends capital punishment for hooch death convicts

first_imgThe Uttar Pradesh government has recommended capital punishment for those found guilty of causing deaths due to consumption of illicit liquor.The BJP-ruled State Cabinet approved changes to the existing laws to incorporate the extreme punishment in cases of hooch deaths.Cabinet approvalIn a meeting headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the UP Cabinet approved changes to the UP Excise Act, 1910 and incorporated the harsher punishment, a government spokesperson said on Wednesday.With the addition of Section 60A into the Act, those guilty of causing death or permanent disability due to illicit liquor could face a life sentence, a fine of Rs 10 lakh or both, or death sentence.The BJP government said since the provisions of the UP Excise Act, 1910, were old, it felt that if it brought in harsher punitive clauses, there can be “effective control” on trafficking and manufacturing of illicit liquor.The government argued the prevalence of illicit liquor not only caused harm to life but also dented the State’s excise revenue.The government has been failing to meet its target revenue over recent years and a major reason for it was the trafficking of illegal liquor from neighbouring states, in particular Haryana, a spokesperson said.In 2016-17 UP earned a revenue of Rs 14, 272 crore from excise.The measure would act as a deterrent, UP Excise Minister Jai Pratap Singh said.After Delhi and Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh will become the third state where bootleggers may be sent to the gallows if consumption of spurious liquor leads to loss of life.“Since the state legislature is not in session, an ordinance will be brought and when the House meets, a bill can be passed,” Mr Singh said.Through ordinanceHe explained that to curb the manufacture of spurious liquor, provisions of life imprisonment and death penalty will be incorporated in the existing law through the ordinance.The death penalty provision will be applied depending upon the intensity of the case, he said.The minister also said a new state excise policy was on the drawing board and would be ready in the next six months.Incidentally, on Wednesday, the state police apprehended a truck in Etah district and seized 350 cartons of liquor supplied from outside UP. The liquor was worth Rs 12 lakh.A 315 bore country pistol and two live cartridges were recovered from the truck driver, identified as Kalyan Singh, a police spokesperson said.Hooch tragedies take a heavy toll every year in Uttar Pradesh.In July, 17 people died in Azamgarh after they consumed spurious liquor. Earlier 28 people died in a similar tragedy in the Malihabad area of Lucknow in 2015.The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had taken cognisance of hooch deaths in Etah and Farrukhabad districts last year and issued notices to the State chief secretary and the director general of police.The NHRC intervened after over 30 people lost their lives in hooch tragedies in the districts.last_img

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