Maybe as a soft launch to the currently debated relaxation of prohibition in Gandhinagar, the sessions court here on Nov 24, deemed six months of rigorous imprisonment for alcohol consumption “too high a penalty.” This in reference to a particular case. It suggested a 15-day jail instead, in view of the fact that the accused has no criminal antecedents.
Amit Maheta, a resident of Mansa taluka, was found drunk at Alkapuri Society in Gandhinagar in 2015. A complaint was filed and in 2018, a magisterial court in Mansa sentenced him to six months of rigorous imprisonment. He was deemed guilty for an offense punishable under Section 66 (1) (b) of the Gujarat Prohibition Act. The conviction and sentence stood challenged in the sessions court and hereon, the matter carried on.
His blood sample traced the presence of 0.0605-gram percent (weight by volume) of ethyl alcohol. The Act states above 0.05 gram is an offense. Upholding the conviction by the magisterial court as valid in light of the evidence produced, sessions judge Nipa Raval, however, held that “looking at the age of the accused and status of health and other criteria for convicting him, this court has to see that penology is properly looked into while convicting the accused.”