patna: Hc No To Extend Judicial Powers To Spl Magistrates | Patna News

PATNA: The Patna high court, while invoking its administrative powers, has refused the state government’s proposal for extending judicial powers of second class magistrate to the executive officers, as envisaged under the recently amended provisions of the Bihar Prohibition Act.
The state excise department was embarking upon creation of 392 posts of executive magistrates for all the 38 districts to exercise functions of second class judicial magistrates under the amended prohibition laws.
The HC administration has cited specific reasons for rejecting the proposal of state government. According to sources, the state government’s proposal of granting judicial powers to executive officers is not in consonance with the provisions of IPC and CrPC. Article 234 of the Constitution provides that the appointment of persons in judicial services of the state shall be made by governor after consultation from the high court. Article 235 provides the control of high court over all its subordinate courts as well as on the service conditions of the judicial officers functioning under its territorial jurisdiction.
On being asked for a comment over the issue, state advocate general Lalit Kishore told this newspaper on Sunday that the state government will first examine the legal facets of the very reasons upon which the high court administration has rejected the state’s proposal.
The state government had recently notified Bihar Prohibition and Excise Amendment (BPEA) Act, 2022, whereby a provision to give judicial powers to executive magistrates in every district has been envisaged for reducing the burden of prohibition-related cases on the courts. According to different provisions of BPEA, the executive magistrates can release the first time offenders of liquor prohibition upon payment of a fine of Rs2,000-Rs5,000. The grant of bail to the person concerned is proposed to lie on the discretion of the executive magistrate in accordance with the nature of his or her crime. This amendment was reportedly done after the harsh remarks made by the Supreme Court, which also asked the Bihar government on March 8 for a social and legislative impact assessment of the prohibition law.

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