The criticism that Vasant Dhoble has attracted for his high-handedness during the raids and searches conducted by police teams led by him will not deter action against errant pubs, bars, lounges, restaurants and other such establishments, sources said on Thursday. In fact, the police crackdown will gather momentum in the coming days.
Sources said the police administration has issued instructions to the licensing branch to prepare a comprehensive list of establishments (pubs, discos, nightclubs, lounges) that have breached the conditions of the police licence.
These establishments are issued licenses by a host of agencies, and the police licence is issued only after all other licences are obtained.
The licencing branch issues the premises and performance licence to eateries and places of entertainment. Even restaurants and theatres are required to have the police licence to operate. The licence is subject to annual renewal after inspection.
The list to be prepared will include establishments that have not renewed licences, those that have violated conditions or have no licences at all.
The police stations and the Special Branch will assist the department in the compilation of the list. "Once the list is prepared, errant establishments will be taken care of one by one," the official said, requesting anonymity.
Official used the examples of Shiro lounge and Royalty pub to explain the need for such a crackdown. "Shiro had allowed entry to more than 450 guests, much beyond its permitted capacity of 150. The sanction for customer [limitation] is given taken into consideration fire safety norms and problems such as stampede," the official said. "If there is a fire or stampede, the police will ultimately be blamed."
Royalty, sources said, was playing DJ music though it did not have the licence for it. Besides, it is located in a building basement, which in itself is not permitted.
"There are likely to be several pubs and discos, especially in five-star hotels, that are believed to have been running without licences. Those will come under the scanner," the official said.