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Delhi restobars to play recorded music

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NEW DELHI: The National Restaurant Association of India, an umbrella body of restaurants-cum-bars in the capital, on Tuesday said they would continue to play recorded music on their premises because there was no ban on them.

A fresh circular issued by the excise department on Tuesday, however, left enough doubt over the issue. The circular was sent out on the intervention of deputy CM Manish Sisodia after the excise department reiterated that the Delhi Excise Rules, 2010, allowed “only live singing/playing of instruments by professionals in resto-bars”. Owners of resto-bars have called the rules archaic.

Sisodia wrote a letter to the excise commissioner on Tuesday morning, stating that the file was not shown to him before the circular was issued. “After the perusal of the order, I found that the order is not posing any ban of such nature (sic),” Sisodia wrote. He asked the excise department to issue a fresh order in this regard.

The new circular stated: “The licensee shall not permit any professional entertainment or dancing, or the playing of musical instruments or singing by professionals, to be carried on his premises in such a way as to attract the general attention of the customers. This condition shall not apply to a hotel or a restaurant or a club. In case of resto-bars (L-17 licensees) only live singing/playing of instruments by professionals shall be allowed.”

The excise department clarified that the circular should be understood only in the limited context. “Moreover, on the playing of recorded music, no new direction has been issued by the excise department,” it stated.

The earlier circular was issued after the department receiving numerous complaints from residents against loud music being played in the resto-bars, many of which are located in residential.

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