Police raid 2 restobars in city for overcrowding | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Police raid 2 restobars in city for overcrowding

Continuing with its crackdown on errant bars and clubs, the Mumbai police’s social service branch raided two upmarket restobars at Worli and Juhu in the early hours of Sunday.

mumbai Updated: Aug 06, 2012 01:34 IST
Puja Changoiwala

Continuing with its crackdown on errant bars and clubs, the Mumbai police’s social service branch raided two upmarket restobars at Worli and Juhu in the early hours of Sunday. Patrons of the two nightspots said the raids were conducted peacefully and that they were not troubled.

Officials said the raids were conducted at Juhu Tara road-based Balthazar bar and restaurant and at Café Cool Chef at Worli.

“Both places were booked for overcrowding, playing music without permission and absence of the licence holder on the premises. The offences carry a fine of Rs12,500 each,” said Feroz Patel, assistant commissioner of police, SSB, who led the raid.

The police said they sent plainclothesmen to the spots after getting tip-offs about the violations. The patrons were allowed to leave after a headcount and after their names and details were noted.

Tarun Thadani, owner of Café Cool Chef, admitted that no guest was hassled, but alleged that the police fined his restobar for irrelevant violations. He argued that only 49 guests were present on the premises and that its permissible capacity is 200 people.

“But we were fined for overcrowding. They charged us for the absence of the licencee. My father is the licencee and can’t be here all the time as he is a heart patient,” he said. “Incidents like these discourage people from visiting pubs and clubs.”

“There were around 200 people at Café Cool at the time of the raid. Its permissible capacity is below 100,” said Patel. “We have videotaped the raid for evidence.”

Jahaan Sayyed, owner of Balthazar, said the police regularly check the restobar. On Saturday night, a wedding function was in progress at the banquet adjacent to Balthazar, which led to traffic congestion outside.

“The police came to check why there was so much traffic. They checked our licences and legally fined us for violations. Everything happened peacefully,” said Sayyed. A 25-year-old who was at Café Cool Chef, said: “They checked the restaurant’s licences, took our names and contact details and left. It was over within 45 minutes.”