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Gurgaon: Two pubs fined in CyberHub for serving liquor in open without licence

Raasta and Wendy’s were accused by excise department officials of not obtaining licence to serve liquor in additional points of sale

gurgaon Updated: Jun 29, 2017 16:09 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times
Pubs chalanned for serving liquor in open,CyberHub,Gurgaon
Wendy’s at Gurgaon’s CyberHub was one of the two pubs to be fined on Wednesday.(Sanjeev Verma/HT FILE PHOTO)

Excise officials fined two pubs and bars for serving liquor in open at DLF CyberHub in Gurgaon. The watering holes did not have valid licences to serve drinks in an additional open space, the officials said.

Raasta and Wendy’s, the pubs which faced action by the excise officials, have to pay 15% of the license fees to obtain an additional point of sale permit to be able to sell liquor in an open space.

Both these establishments were fined for violating this rule. The licence fee is to be paid by the pub owners to the excise department. Owners of the pubs said that the process of obtaining a licence for operating in an open space is on.

Acting on a tip-off, the excise department officials conducted a raid on Saturday and issued challans to the pubs.

According to excise officials, the department, on December 23, lifted the ban on serving liquor in open areas provided the pub owners have the required permission. However, the directive was put on hold due to lack of clarity on the Supreme Court order banning serving and sale of liquor within 500 metres of state and national highways.

“The department is conducting frequent checks to ensure liquor is not served in open and that no one sells liquor without permission,” said HC Dahiya, deputy excise and taxation commissioner(West), Gurgaon.

“Apart from serving liquor in the open, the stock register was also not maintained at Wendy’s. Hence, we imposed a fine on the owners. We have formed teams to conduct surprise checks at all outlets to ensure pub owners or operators are not violating the rules and regulations,” Dahiya said.

The action by excise department assumes significance, as a number of alleged drunken brawls have been reported on MG Road and Sector 29 where a large number of pubs and bars are located. Gurgaon police have also launched a crackdown on open consumption of liquor, which are often blamed for such incidents.

Excise officials said that to sell liquor at additional points, including open space, the pubs/bars will have to shell out 15% of their licence fees and they can obtain up to two extra points of sale. The license fee has been hiked to ₹15 lakh as part of the state’s new liquor policy and for one additional point, the outlet has to pay ₹2.25 lakh.

Read I SC liquor ban: Gurgaon CyberHub pubs get clean chit, will serve alcohol

The managements of the bars that were issued fines on Wednesday said they have already applied for licence and paid the fee, but the department is yet clear the sale and serving of liquor at additional points.

The Raasta management declined to comment in the matter.

The staff at Wendy’s said the excise team visited their premises on Saturday and asked them to maintain and update the stock register. “But we are not aware of any challan (fine) issued by the excise department,” a staff member at Wendy’s, CyberHub, said.

First Published: Jun 28, 2017 22:06 IST