Police commissioner Arup Patnaik’s request to the state government to enforce a 1.30am deadline for bars, lounges as discos has owners up in arms.
Patnaik’s request came soon after the incident where actor Shah Rukh Khan and filmmaker Shirish Kunder got into a latenight brawl at Aurus in Juhu on January 29.
The 14 bars in the city’s five star hotels are allowed to stay open till 3am. The state government had allowed the 3am deadline in December last year after the Bombay high court directed it to furnish a policy on it following a petition.
On Tuesday, however, pub owners were shocked at the police recommendation to the state. They said they had received no notice and would take up the issue with the state if required.
“We need a 3am deadline because we have international clientele and their flights come in late. The state has allowed us these timings and we have the requisite permissions. If they are cancelled, we may have to move court if need be,” said the general manager of a suburban bar.
Most of the clubs that HT contacted did not know of Patnaik’s request.
Spokesperson for Velvet Lounge at Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel, Powai, which is open till 3am, said, “We have not yet received any notice from the government.”
Aurus, where the incident took place, did not comment on the issue as all their directors were out of the country. Aurus is a pub that is not attached to a five-star hotel, but which has a 1.30am deadline.
Others were wary of commenting until they received an intimation. “We have all permissions to stay open late as of now,” said Parvez Sheikh, food and beverage manager, Sutra Bollywood Lounge at InterContinental The Grand, Santacruz.
The police confirmed they had requested the state government for a uniform deadline. “The police commissioner wants a uniform closing time for pubs across the city, from roadside ones to those in five-star hotels,” said Nisar Tamboli, Mumbai police spokesperson.
But state government officials said they had not yet received any such communication. “But, if the commissioner has made a suggestion, then we will certainly have a discussion on the issue and see how we can arrive at some solution,” said Satej Patil, minister of state for home.