In a major shock to Nitish Kumar's government in Bihar, the Patna High Court on Friday struck down the Bihar government's Prohibition of Liquor Act.

The court termed it as "illegal", reports ANI.

Kumar had announced a complete ban on liquor in the state since April 1.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar | Source: PTI

A division bench of the court comprising Chief Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansari and Justice Navaniti Prasad Singh quashed the April 5 notification of the state government to stop consumption and sale of alcohol in the state.

The April 5 notification is ultra vires to the Constitution, hence not enforceable, the court said in its verdict. The same bench had on May 20 reserved its order on a batch of writ petitions filed by Liquor Trade Association and many individuals challenging the liquor law in Bihar brought by Nitish Kumar government with stringent penal provisions.

The Nitish Kumar-led Grand Secular Alliance government had first banned the manufacture, trade, sale, consumption of country-made liquor since April 1, but later imposed a blanket ban on all types of liquor including foreign liquor in the state.

The Bihar government has claimed that heinous crimes in the state had decreased by 27 per cent in the month of April after the imposition of total prohibition in the state.

(With inputs from PTI)