iconimg Friday, September 04, 2015

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 15, 2013
The Delhi High Court has sought details of 42 restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs which, according to a petition, are allegedly operating without licences in Hauz Khas market.

“Let the petitioner file an affidavit giving details of each eatery he alleges to be illegal. He shall also verify the facts stated in his petition,” said justice GS Sistani, giving petitioner Pankaj Sharma time till August 27.

But owners of some of the eateries listed in the petition told the court that they had licences issued by statutory authorities. They accused Sharma of making ‘vague’ allegations.

Delhi Police lawyer Shariq Mohammad told the court that most of the restaurants had been granted licences, while pleas for renewal of licences by some are under consideration.

Varun Goswami, a lawyer for one of the listed hotels, alleged that the petition was filed out of vengeance by a disgruntled tenant (Sharma) who was evicted from his shop in the area by a landlord. Sharma has denied the allegation.

According to Sharma’s petition, Hauz Khas has witnessed massive encroachment and illegal constructions with mushrooming of illegal restaurants and eating joints. The owners are in connivance with local authorities such as MCD, excise department and Delhi Police, he alleged. He also claimed that many of these joints are located within the prohibited 100 metres of the Hauz Khas monument.