An amendment in the rules of conduct for civil servants in Bihar now prohibits the consumption of alcohol or other intoxicating substances by government officials even when they are outside the state, while a new set of rules was laid down disallowing judicial officers from consuming intoxicants, the Telegraph reported.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who has taken up the cause of banning alcohol consumption across the state on a war-footing, chaired a cabinet meeting on the evening of 15 February where he amended the Bihar Government Servants Conduct Rules, 1976, and approved the Bihar Judicial Officers Conduct Rules, 2017, widening the scope of prohibition within the state's administrative structure.
Prior to the latest amendment, government servants were not allowed to drink in public or be found inebriated while on duty. But now, they cannot take any intoxicating substances even if they are outside Bihar, or India for that matter. The amendment promises departmental action against those found consuming liquor anywhere in the world. Punishment could include demotions, salary cuts or even expulsion.
In the first ever set of rules governing the consumption of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance by judicial officers of the state, they too have to comply with all the laws pertaining to prohibition. The new rules were approved by the cabinet.
How the government will keep a tab on the drinking habits of its officials during out-of-state trips remains unclear. The DNA quoted an official as saying that random medical tests and even sting operations on its own employees could be among the options that the government could consider.
However, Keshav Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary, General Administration, of the Bihar government said that action will be taken against an official only if there is a complaint against her or him as monitoring all officials was not practical.
After the declaration of prohibition in Bihar on 5 April, government officials pledged to keep away from consuming alcohol in order to set a good example for the people.
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