No restriction on number of bars in mall: excise dept | india | Hindustan Times
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No restriction on number of bars in mall: excise dept

india Updated: Aug 09, 2011 00:48 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

Amid demands for cancellation of licences of bars in Sahara Mall, government authorities have expressed their helplessness to take concrete steps in this regard.

The Haryana Excise and Taxation Act has no provision to define the number of bars a mall should have.

Besides, the act does not empower the excise and taxation department commissioner to shut down a bar only because a group of people thinks it is a nuisance, a senior official said.

Sahara Mall, where a major brawl took place on July 30, is the only mall on MG Road with six bars on its third floor. Other malls have 2-3 bars each.

Deputy commissioner of excise and taxation (DCET) SB Sharma wrote a letter to the excise commissioner in Chandigarh for cancellation of licences granted to pub owners.

Anurag Rastogi, commissioner of the excise and taxation department, said there was no provision in the act that prescribed minimum or maximum number of bars a mall can have.

“The act is silent on that. I am still to receive the DCET recommendation. I would take my time to take a call on the cancellation of bar licences as the owners can move court against any such decision,” he added.

On July 30, 10 youths from Chakkarpur village had been beaten up by over a dozen bouncers of three bars of Sahara Mall with baseball bats and hockey sticks. The police have registered a case against the bouncers. Relatives of the
victims have demanded cancellation of licences of all six bars.

On Saturday, about 500 villagers forced the mall authorities to cut the water and power supply to these pubs. The six pubs that were closed on Saturday are Ignite, Prison, Last Chance, Odyssey, Blue Eyes and IPSA.