Not in favour of permitting bars to operate till 3 a.m.: city police to Delhi HC

Bartenders at a restaurant in the Capital.

Bartenders at a restaurant in the Capital.

The city police told the Delhi High Court on Tuesday that it was not in favour of bars and restaurants serving liquor being permitted to remain operational till 3 a.m. in the Capital.

Earlier, the High Court had asked the city police and the Excise Department to constitute a consultative group to examine the issue.

The Delhi police, in its report filed in the case, stated that in the meetings of the joint consultative group, its officers objected to bars being permitted to operate beyond 1 a.m.

The report stated that women’s safety was a big concern and given the acute shortage of manpower in the Delhi police, the operation timings of bars in restaurants and clubs should not be increased.

‘Irresponsible behaviour’

The report further said there are several offices and residence of importance and the city has “reflected ugly and irresponsible behaviour of people under influence of alcohol late in the night”.

The report said it was suggested by the police that since the decision on increasing timings for bars and restaurants was taken by the Delhi government, the views of the agency may be sent for reconsideration by the competent authority.

The High Court, which was hearing a petition by the National Restaurant Association of India seeking directions to restrain the police from interfering with the operation and running of restaurants and bars till 3 a.m. in terms of the excise policy, posted the case for further hearing on November 23.

The association had stated that its members invested huge amount of money in the form of licence fee, which had been substantially hiked from previous occasions, to take advantage of extended opening hours as per the new policy.

The court had earlier observed that while it does not intend to stand in the way of the Excise Department framing a policy to permit the opening of bars till 3 a.m., the same has to be “harmonised with” the police’s authority to regulate the operational timing of eating houses and places of public entertainment.

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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 6:13:49 am |