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Indiranagar pubs fall silent as cops want song licence



BENGALURU: Nearly 30 pubs and restaurants in and around Indiranagar have received notices from the police to either shut down or stop playing music.

“We have issued closure notice to around 30 leisure joints. If the restaurants continue to play live or recorded music, we will take action against them,” a senior police official attached to the Indiranagar police station said. “The instruction came from the office of the Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru.”

Police commissioner T Suneel Kumar was unavailable for comment.

One of the notices issued to Boozers in Indiranagar warns of legal action if the pub does not stop “the performance of Live Band (music recorded or live) from the date of receipt of this closure notice”.

The letter, citing a 2005 Supreme Court order, instructs the pub owners to submit the licence issued to run the place of public entertainment. “In spite of granting reasonable time, you have failed to obtain the licence as per the norms to perform live band in your restaurant,” the notice said.

In January this year, the Supreme Court upheld the Licensing and Controlling of Places of Public Entertainment (Bangalore City) Order, 2005, which regulates places of public entertainment, particularly those playing music. It mandated such leisure joints to obtain licences from the police to play music.

This licence will be part of over ten different types of permits a pub owner will have to obtain before starting the venture. Prominent among these are no objection certificates from the fire department and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.

New Rule Disturbing’

Manu Chandra, president of the National Restaurant Association of India (Bengaluru chapter), called the new rule disturbing and saw it as part of the tirade against F&B establishments in the city. “First, the highway liquor rule destroyed a large number of businesses; then came the knee-jerk fire rules after the Mumbai tragedy,” he said.

Chandra said the new directive is the latest in a string of draconian steps irreparably damaging an industry that employees a huge number of people and is a large contributor to the exchequer. “Insisting on an occupancy certificate, which a majority of buildings don’t seem to have, and now music licence is unfair at many levels. Are the same rules applicable to all businesses in the city,” he asked.

Some of the owners, however, said they did not receive any closure notice. Pravesh Pandey, director of Byg Brewski Brewing Company in Sarjapur and Hennur, said: “We have received no new circular today. The previous one mentioned the ban only on live music. There is a fair amount of ambiguity around the permission to play recorded music at eateries. Thus, while we have completely cancelled all the live performances from our annual events calendar, we will continue to play recorded music.”Indiranagar pubs fall silent as cops want song licence

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