New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) The Supreme Court granted today time till May 31 to liquor manufacturers to remove their stock lying in Bihar where sale and consumption of all types of liquor have been banned. Also Read - Many Healthworkers in Delhi & Bihar Unwilling to Take Bharat Biotech's Covaxin Due to Lack of Efficacy Data

A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar passed the order after some liquor manufacturers filed a batch of applications for extension of time to remove the old stock which was lying in the state. Also Read - Bihar DElEd Merit List 2020 Released by DIET Patna at dietpatna.com, Check and Download Bihar DElEd 2020 Merit List NOW

The apex court was informed that a resolution was passed on March 30 by the Bihar government’s department of excise as per which one month’s time had been given to manufacturers to remove their stock. Also Read - Nitish Kumar Lands In Fresh Political Trouble After IndiGo Executive's Murder in Patna

During the hearing, the lawyer representing the applicants said they would abide by the conditions given in the March 30 resolution but the one-month time should be extended.

“In view of the aforesaid, the time is extended till May 31, 2017 to remove the stock,” the bench said.

The apex court had in October last year stayed the operation of the Patna High Court verdict quashing the state’s law banning sale and consumption of all types of liquor.

It had also sought response of all the respondents including some liquor manufacturers, on whose plea the high court had held as illegal and unconstitutional the Bihar government’s prohibition law.

The Bihar government had challenged the high court verdict of September 30 last year which had quashed the notification banning consumption and sale of liquor in the state.

However, after the law was set aside, the JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance government had came out with a new law banning sale and consumption of liquor, which was notified on Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 last year.

The Bihar government’s appeal has been opposed by the liquor manufacturers who have raised the issue of fundamental right of equality guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution.

The high court had passed the order on a batch of pleas filed by the Liquor Trade Association and others, challenging the liquor law, brought in with stringent penal provisions.

Soon thereafter, the Bihar government brought in the new law banning liquor, including harsher provisions like arrest of all adults in a house where alcohol was found.

The Bihar government had first banned manufacture, trade, sale and consumption of country-made liquor since April 1 last year, but later imposed a blanket ban on all types of liquor, including foreign liquor, in the state.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.