NEW DELHI: With the coming into force of the newly-legislated Mizoram Liquor Prohibition and Control (MLPC) Act 2014 on January 15, the 17-year old prohibition on consumption of liquor in Mizoram finally ended.

The MLPC Act has replaced the inflexible and stringent Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1995 which had been imposed in the state for the last 17 years.

The Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1995 banned consumption of alcohol in the state with any individual found violating the law being severely punished.

The Mizoram Excise and Narcotics Minister R Lalzirliana said that though the MLPC Act was already notified in the official gazette on January 7, it would be in force from January 15 i.e. Thursday, as per PTI reports.

Also, wine shops would only be able to sell liquor from March onwards even though the law has come into force yesterday.

Further, preparations were in full swing to begin selling of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) in the state. Lalzirliana also hinted that Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) like the Mizoram Food and Allied Industries Limited (MIFCO) would look after the running of the retail wine shops in Aizawl and other seven district headquarters.

Even though drinking has now been permitted legally, stringent punitive actions would be taken in cases of indecent behavior and offences committed under influence of alcohol.

According to the new MLPC Act, drunken driving and drunken brawls in public places are considered as “grave offences” which would invite imprisonment for several months.

This move that ended the 17-year old ban on drinking has been welcomed in the state.