Hauz Khas Village is in special focus, a PIL stated that there are several unauthorised constructions in the area and its restaurants are allegedly operating without necessary licences like the fire safety clearance certificate.
Delhi High Court has sought a response from Aam Aadmi Party over their action taken against the pubs and bars functioning in south Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village without a No Objection Certificate (NOC). The bench also asked AAP and police officials about what action have they taken against those restaurants which are serving liquor without a license. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal also asked municipal corporation whether such restaurants and pubs are functioning or not.
Last year, AAP decided to not issue any new liquor licenses to restaurants or mall shops as a policy decision till the new financial year starts. This was objected by National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI). In a press statement they said, “There’s a huge and recurring licensing fees in Delhi to sell imported alcohol beverages. Processing chargers add to expenses as stated in NRAI India Food Services Report 2013.An estimated INR 0.5-0.6 crore (USD 0.10-0.12 million) is required to fulfill all licensing requirements, which is a huge impediment for growth when considering a restaurant’s finances. Some other issues like long gestation period to get a liquor license, Anti-liquor mindset, High tax burden are further hindering opening of resto-bars in Delhi. It is also pertinent that these hindrances further leads to a loss of revenue to the Government.”
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Also, the recent The Model Shops and Establishments Act, approved by Cabinet provides for freedom ofshops and eateries to open all day and night, 365 days in a year, the statement said. But the AAP government said that the existing number of liquor vendors is enough to meet the city’s demand.
But Hauz Khas is in special focus here, as the court has received another PIL seeking action against unauthorised constructions the area and its restaurants allegedly operating without necessary licences. Also, most of the restaurants don’t have their fire safety clearance in place. The bench has now fixed the matter for further hearing on February 14. Advocate Anuja Kapur had filed the plea against the pubs and bars in Hauz Khas Village alleging that cops are not seen in that area, because of which several other illegal activities are carried on by the pub owners. She has written a plea to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as well and has demanded a ban on such set-ups.