AIZAWL, March 29 - Election Commission of India (ECI) has instructed the Mizo National Front (MNF)-led Mizoram Government to put its proposed Prohibition law on hold till the Lok Sabha election process is over.
The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Bill, 2019, which was passed by the State Assembly on March 20, sought to bring back �total prohibition� on sales of alcohol in the State four years after �The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibiton & Control) Act, 2014, which allowed opening of liquor shops, was enforced in the State.
With the Governor giving his assent to the Bill, the State Government was planning to enforce the liquor Act from April 1. The Election Commission�s letter issued on Thursday was forwarded to the Commissioner and Secretary of Mizoram Excise and Narcotics department by the State Additional Chief Electoral Officer, Krishna Mohan Uppu on Friday. The letter directed the State Government not to notify the Prohibition Law till the completion of Lok Sabha election.
The ruling MNF had promised before the last State Assembly elections last year that it will bring back �total prohibition� in the State, if it was voted back to power. Soon after assuming power in December, the MNF Government headed by Zoramthanga had banned the sale of alcohol by declaring a long spell of dry days.
However, the dry days order was quashed by the Gauhati High Court after it being challenged by liquor vendors. The government then passed �The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Bill, 2019� during its session on March 20. Though the EC has instructed the State Government to put on hold its liquor law, Mizoram will become a dry State from April as licences of liquor vendors will expire on March 31.