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B’luru pub owners wary of implementation of SC order on playing music

Pub owners failing to produce required documents within the given time frame face action

Prime News, State, (Bengaluru), August 4:- Bengaluru’s owners of pubs and bars are wary that strict implementation of a Supreme Court order by the city police on playing music and other norms needed to obtain a licence may lead to closure of many establishments.

A January Apex court order has been put into action by the police here as it was issuing notices to pubs and restaurants that are not following the “Licensing and Controlling of Places of Public Entertainment Order, 2005.”

As per law, a ‘licence’ is a must and in order for one to play music live or recorded music in places of public entertainment.

Also, the law specifies that to get a licence, the pub owner needs to submit a total of seven documents, which includes an occupancy certificate (OC); an approved building plan from the city authority; a partnership deed; a lease or title deed and a fire safety compliance certificate.

Pub owners failing to produce these documents within the given time frame face action.

The then Bengaluru police commissioner had issued a notice in 2005 asking pubs, hotels and restaurants to get licence to play recorded or live music as playing loud music was causing nuisance.

Pubs and restaurant owners challenged the order in the apex court, which recently passed an order in favour of the police.

Now, the city police have asked pubs and restaurant owners to get permission by submitting all the documents.

A pub owner, requesting anonymity, said there was scope for large-scale misuse of this order as Licence Raj would prevail and it would become easy for police to fix any hotelier.

Police have issued notices to more than 400 pubs and restaurants and have asked them to furnish all the details before the city commissioner within a fortnight to get licence.

Bengaluru police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar said notice had been issued in the last one month to over 400 pubs, restaurants, irrespective of whether they were in residential areas or commercial areas.

Whoever is playing live or recorded music, they have to take permission of the city police Commissioner under the licensing and control of public entertainment establishment order 2005, he added.

Kumar also said he gave them a fortnight to apply for permission and once all the criteria was fulfilled, licence to play music would be issued.

Else, they would be asked to close down, he added.

Police sources said that approximately 65 pubs and restaurant owners have come forward seeking music licences.

Supporting the police move, Jayamahal Municipal ward corporator M K Gunashekar said law mandates furnishing all these documents.

“A sanctioned building plan and an occupancy certificate is mandatory to show whether the building complies with the building bye-laws of the Town and Country Planning Act.

Ignorance of law excuses no one,” Gunashekar said.

The recent order by the country’s top court came as a boon for the Residents’ Welfare Associations fighting against commercial activities in their areas. They were especially fed up with the noisy pubs, bars and restaurants.

Ashok Sharat, member of RWA of the posh Indira Nagar area, said, “This has nothing to do with residential or commercial area. As a member of RWA we want the law to be followed.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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