The Assam Liquor Prohibition Act, 1952
Assam Act 1 of 1953
Last Updated 18th March, 2020 [ass221]
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY 6
(1) "buy", with all its grammatical variations, means any receipt for price paid in cash or in kind, and includes any receipt by gift, loan or otherwise.
(2) "State Prohibition Council" means a body of the non-official residents of the State as may be constituted by the State Government by notification in the official Gazette.
[(3) "Liquor" means any intoxicating liquor and includes all liquid consisting of or containing alcohol, also Tari containing alcohol and Pachwai in any form and any substance which the State Government may, by notification, declare to be liquor for the purpose of this Act.Explanations. - (i) This definition shall not apply to any toilet preparation or medicine containing alcohol.
(ii) Tari in an unfermented stage is not included within the term liquor and is exempted form the operation of this Act].
(4) "Manufacture" includes every process, whether natural or artificial, by which any intoxicant is produced or prepared, also re-distillation and every process for the rectification, flavouring, blending, or colouring of liquor.
(5) "Prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act.
(6) "Prohibited area" means the area where the Act is enforced.
(7) "Prohibition Officer" means a person appointed under Section 17(3) of the Act.
(8) "Sell" with all its grammatical variations, means any transfer including transfers by a gift or a loan or otherwise.3. Prohibition. - No person shall-
(1) transport, import or possess liquor;
(2) sell or buy liquor;
(3) consume liquor except on a permit granted under the provisions of the Act and Rules made thereunder;
(4) manufacture liquor; and
(5) use or keep any material, utensil, implement or apparatus whatsoever for manufacture of liquor :[Provided that for three years from the commencement of the Assam Liquor Prohibition (Amendment) Act, 1956 it shall be lawful for a family of Scheduled Tribes to possess Pachwai to the extent of two and half seers for the purpose of home consumption. Explanation. - The word "Family" means persons living together and having a common kitchen.] 3A. Publication or display of advertisement of liquor. - No person shall -
(1) publish or display advertisement of liquor or of any preparation fit for use as intoxicant liquor, in the Newspapers, Periodicals, journals, Hoardings, Banners, etc., printed and published in and from that area;
(2) import/possess any Newspaper, Journal, Periodical etc., if they contain advertisement of liquor or of any preparation fit for use as intoxicating liquor.3B. Board of Experts. - (1) For the use of determining whether any of the preparations mentioned in Section 3-A is fit or likely to be used as intoxicating liquor the State Government shall constitute a Board of Experts. (2) The Board of Experts constituted under sub-section (1) shall be appointed on such terms and conditions and shall consist of such members as may be prescribed. The members so appointed shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor of Assam. (3) It shall be the duty of the Board to advise the State Government on the question of whether article or preparation containing alcohol is fit for use as intoxicating liquor and on such other matters incidental thereto as may be referred to it by the State Government. 3C. Restrictions on use of medicinal and toilet preparations. - On the advice of the Board constituted under Section 3-A, the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare any such preparation to be liquor within the definition of the Act and thereupon the State Government may, notwithstanding anything contained in any other provision of the Act, impose such restrictions and in such manner as may be prescribed. 4. Punishment for contravention. - Whoever contravenes the provisions of Section 3 of this Act, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years but not less than three months and also with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees but not less than one hundred rupees : Provided that a person, who is under 21 years of age and against whom no previous conviction is proved, may be awarded a sentence of less than three months and a fine less than one hundred rupees for reasons to be recorded in the judgement that in consideration of the age, character and antecedents of the person concerned, a lesser sentence has been awarded. 5. Punishment for allowing premises to be used for the commission of an offence. - Whoever, being the owner or occupier or having the use of any house, room, enclosure, space, vessel, vehicle or place, knowingly permits it to be used for the commission, by any other person, of any offence punishable under this Act or the rules made thereunder, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months but not less than one month and with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees but not less than fifty rupees : Provided that a person who is under 21 years of age and against whom no previous conviction is proved, may be awarded a sentence of less than one month and a fine less than fifty rupees for reasons to be recorded in the judgement that in the consideration of the age, character and antecedents of the person concerned, a lesser sentence has been awarded. 6. Enhanced punishment. - Whenever any person, having been convicted of an offence under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of Section 3, is again convicted of an offence under either of the aforesaid sub-sections, the imprisonment with which he shall be punished shall be rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to four years but not less than six months : Provided that a person, who is under 21 years of age and against whom no previous conviction is proved, may be awarded a sentence of less than six months for reasons to be recorded in the judgement that in consideration of the age, character and antecedents of the person concerned, a lesser sentence has been awarded. 7. Attempts. - Whoever attempts to commit an offence punishable under Section 4, or to cause an offence to be committed, and in such attempt does any act towards the commission of the offence or towards the causing of its commissions, shall be punished with the punishment provided for the offence. 8. Abetments. - Whoever abets an offence punishable under Section 4 or Section 5, shall whether such offence be or be not committed in consequence of such abetment, be punished with the punishment provided for the offence. 9. Power to issue warrants. - (1) A District Magistrate or a Sub-divisional Magistrate or a Magistrate of the first class, or an Officer of the Excise Department not below the rank of a Superintendent specially empowered by the State Government on his behalf, may issue a warrant for the arrest of any person whom he has reason to believe to have committed an offence punishable under this Act or the rules thereunder, or for the search, whether by day or by night, of any building, vessel or place in which he has reason to believe any liquor, material, utensil, implement or apparatus, in respect of which an offence punishable under this Act has been committed, is kept or concealed. (2) The officer to whom a search warrant under sub-section (1) is addressed shall have all the powers of an officer under Section 10. 10. Power of entry, search and seizure, etc. - (1) Any officer of the Departments of Excise and Police not below the rank of Inspector, any officer of the Department of Revenue not below the rank of the Sub-deputy Collector, and any person authorised in this behalf by the State Government who has reason to believe, from personal knowledge or from information received from any person or taken down in writing and attested by the informant, that any liquor, material, utensil, implement or apparatus in respect of which an offence punishable under this Act or the rules made thereunder has been committed is kept or concealed in any building, vessel, or enclosed place, may, between sunrise and sunset-
(a) enter into any such building, vessel or place;
(b) in case of resistance break open any door and remove any other obstacle to such entry;
(c) seize such liquor, material, utensil, implement or apparatus, and any document or other article which may furnish evidence of the commission of the offence ;
(d) detain, search and arrest any person whom he has reason to believe to have committed an offence against this Act relating to such liquor, material, utensil, implement or apparatus:Provided that if such officer has reason to believe that a search warrant cannot be obtained without affording opportunity for the concealment of evidence or facility for the escape of an offender, he may, after recording the ground of his belief, enter and search such buildings, vessel or enclosed place at any time between sunset and sunrise. (2) Where an officer taken down any information in writing under sub-section (1), or records grounds for his belief under the proviso thereto, he shall forthwith send a copy thereof to his immediate official superior. 11. Power of seizure and arrest in public places. - Any officer of any of the Departments referred to in Section 10 may within the prohibited area notified under this Act-
(a) seize, in any public place or in transit any liquor, material, utensil, implement or apparatus in respect of which he has reason to believe an offence punishable under this Act or the rules made thereunder has been committed, and along with it, any document or other article which may furnish evidence of the commission of the offence, and
(b) detain, search and arrest any person whom he has reason to believe, to have committed an offence against this Act relating to such liquor, material utensil, implement or apparatus.12. Mode of executing warrants, etc. - The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 shall in so far as they are applicable, apply to the execution of warrants and making of searches, arrests and seizure under this Act. 13. Report of arrest and seizure. - Any officer making an arrest or seizure under this Act, shall within twenty-four hours of such seizure and arrest, make a full report of all the particulars of such arrest or seizure to his immediate official superior. 14. Production of persons arrested. - Every person arrested under any of the provisions of this Act shall be produced before the nearest Magistrate, within twenty-four hours of such arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the Court of the Magistrate. 15. Power to invest Excise Officers. - The State Government may invest any officer of the Excise Department, and below the rank of Inspector with the powers of an Officer-in-charge of a Police Station for the investigation of offence under this Act. 16. Jurisdiction to try offences. - The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, shall apply to the trial of offences against this Act and the rules made thereunder. 17. State Prohibition Council. - (1) The State Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, constitute for the State and for such period as it may deem fit, a State Prohibition Council consisting of two or more non-official residents of the State as may be prescribed by the State Government. The State Government may also, by like notification, dissolve or reconstitute any such Council. (2) The State Prohibition Council may, by notification in the official Gazette, constitute for a district or part thereof and for such period as it may deem fit, Prohibition Committees consisting of two or more non-official residents of the district. The State Prohibition Council may also by like notification, dissolve or reconstitute such prohibition committees. (3) For the purposes of Sections 10 and 11 of the Act, the State Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint any member of a Prohibition Committee by virtue of offence or otherwise to be a Prohibition Officer and the relation of officers so appointed to the State Prohibition Council shall be such as may be prescribed. (4) The duties to be performed by the State Prohibition Council and Prohibition Committees and the relation between the Council and the Committees and the relation of such Committees to the council shall be such as may be prescribed. 18. Punishment for vexatious entry, etc. - Any person acting under the powers given by Section 10 or Section 11 who-
(a) without reasonable grounds of suspicion, enters, or searches or causes to be entered or searched, any building, vessel or place; or
(b) vexatiously and unnecessarily seizes the property of any person on the pretext of seizing or searching for any liquor or seizing any document or other article liable to seizure under Section 10 or 11; or
(c) vexatiously and unnecessarily detains, searches or arrests any person or fails to produce, within the time specified in Section 14, the person arrested or the article seized before the proper authority, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both.19. Indemnity. - No action shall lie against any officer for damages in any Civil Court for any act done bona fide or ordered to be done in pursuance of this Act or the rules thereunder. 20. Permits. - Notwithstanding anything hereinbefore contained the State Government may prescribe the conditions under which permits may be issued for the use or consumption of foreign liquor to persons on the following amongst other conditions-
(a) that such person is not a minor;
(b) that the health of such person shall be seriously and permanently affected if such person is not permitted to use or consume such liquor; or
(c) that such person was either born and brought up or domiciled in any country outside India where such liquor is being generally used or consumed; or
(d) that such person belongs to any of the armed forces of India.[21. The State Government may prescribe the conditions under which licences may be issued for the manufacture, import, transport, sale or possession of liquor on the ground that such liquor is required by such person for a bona fide medicinal, scientific, industrial, religious or such like purpose or for sale to permit holder under Section 20.] 21A. Special permits to foreign dignitaries, etc. - The State Government may grant special permits on such conditions and for such periods as may be prescribed for the use and consumption of foreign liquor in a prohibited area to any person who is-
(a) a Sovereign or Head of a foreign State;
(b) an Ambassador, Diplomatic envoy or Counsel, Honorary Counsel of trade, commerce, or other representatives of a foreign State;
(c) a member of the Staff appointed by or serving under any person, specified in Clause (a) or (b); provided that such member is a national of foreign State;
(d) the consort on any person specified in Clause (a), (b) or (c) or any relation of such person (dependent upon him); and
(e) a foreign national employed by or otherwise engaged in any firm or any other concern in the prohibited area.21B. Exemption to tourists. - Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act tourists from any foreign State having all India Tourists' permit may use or consume liquor in the prohibited area without taking any permit under this Act. 21C. Permission to use or consume foreign liquor in messes or canteens of Armed Forces. - The State Government may, in such conditions as may be specified by a general or special order, permit-
(i) the sale of liquor to,
(ii) the purchase, use or consumption of such liquor in a prohibited area by-
(a) the members of the Armed Forces in messes and canteens; and
(b) the crew of warships or troopships and the members of the armed forces thereon.21D. Regulation of use or consumption of foreign liquor by certain permit holders. - (1) No holder of a permit under any of the provisions of this Act shall drink in a public place or in the room of a hotel or institution of a prohibited area to which the public may have access. (2) Not holder of a permit granted under Sections 20, 21-A and 21-C and no tourist entitled to use or consume liquor as provided in Section 21-B, shall allow the use or consumption of any part of the quantity of liquor held by him to any other person not so authorised to use or consume liquor under this Act. 22. Repeal. - The provisions relating to liquor in the Eastern Bengal and Assam Excise Act, 1910 shall stand repealed in respect of the area or areas in which the Act be enforced. 23. Power to make rules. - (1) The Government may, subject to the condition of previous publication, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act. (2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power such rules prescribe-
(a) the duties to be performed by a Prohibition Committee and its relation to the State Prohibition Council and other Committees;
(b) any other matter as may, or requires to be prescribed.(3) In making rules under this section, the State Government may attach a penalty for the breach of any particular rules.