On Friday, over 80,000 Bihar Police officers, and including thousands of others around the region, signed a pledge against the sale and use of alcohol in order to secure the state's effective restriction.
The easy availability of booze in the state, which enacted prohibition in April 2016, has put cops in the firing line. This was the policemen's fourth commitment to make prohibitions a success after the prior oaths had failed to produce the expected outcomes.
Police officers from around the province assembled at 11 a.m. on Friday to take an oath, a few at their police headquarters and others on large open fields. Several police officers were sworn in by Bihar's police head, SK Singhal, in Patna.
"I firmly pledge that I will never drink alcohol in my life." "If I am ever caught involved in any activity involving booze, I will face severe consequences," the oath stated. All police officers, including house guards, took a similar promise on December 21, 2020, and April 4, 2016. On the CM's order, the drill was repeated in 2019.
"An oath like this has no legal standing. It's remarkable how the entire political establishment gets involved in such pointless activities in order to look more holy than the monarch. Whether or not to remove or suspend someone is solely a matter of administrative discretion. "The courts have been properly lenient in giving bail in cases involving the Excise Act," said NA Shamshi, a former assistant attorney general.
According to another lawyer, Sashikant Yadav, there's no oath-taking under the India Oath Acts of 1873 and 1969. (section-3). "An oath must be administered according to a specific procedure. "More significantly, if the oath isn't respected, it's a pointless exercise," he remarked.
Former DGP Abhayanand wondered what would have happened to police officers who had been on leave today and couldn't take the oath because they had consumed alcohol. "Will they not be discharged from the military?" What good would an oath do if there is no fear of the law? What is this oath being sworn for: the Constitution, the law, or morality? The Indian Penal Code (IPC) has measures for punishment," he noted.
Former general secretary of the Bihar Police Association, KK Jha, stated that delivering oaths repeatedly demonstrates a lack of confidence and governance failure. "The Police Act does not have such a clause." The police manual outlined the Act's functions and obligations for officers.
Despite the fact that the government administers the anti-liquor oath almost every year, recent hooch deaths and the ensuing police manhunt to apprehend young people who are drinking and capture trucks full of illegally imported alcohol revealed the truth of banning, giving the opposing party ammunition to attack the government. The police-mafia link was cited as the key cause for the free flow of booze.
Since the state became dry in 2016, several lakh litres of illicit booze have been recovered, and 850 police officers have been dismissed after being caught either inebriated or working hand-in-glove with the liquor dealers," said KK Jha.