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SC seeks response from Karnataka govt over closure of hotels, restaurants at midnight
February 24, 2010

SC seeks response from Karnataka govt over closure of hotels, restaurants at midnight


24 February 2010

HBI Staff, Mumbai:

The Supreme Court (SC) has sought response from the Karnataka government and the police commissioner of Bengaluru on a petition challenging an order directing the closure of hotels, restaurants and places of public entertainment at midnight.

On a petition filed by the Bruhat Bengalooru Hotels Association, a Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly fixed March 12, 2010 as the next date for hearing. Appearing for the association, senior advocate Nageshwar Rao argued that the police commissioner did not have powers under the provisions of the Karnataka Police Act, 1963, to fix the timing for opening and closure of eateries, restaurants and hotels.

According to a report in Deccan Herald, the opening and closure of such places are fixed by the state government under a special enactment, the Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishments Act 1961, said an application filed by advocate Senthil Jagadeesan. The Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru, on May 19, 2009, ordered the closure of all places of public entertainment between midnight and 6 am.

The application also said such a notice was earlier issued on April 8, 2008, by the police department. It was withdrawn after nine months. Rao said the commissioner did not have the authority to issue such an order without the sanction of the state government and without seeking objection from the affected parties.

Due to the closure of such establishments, the livelihood of several employees working in hotels beyond midnight had been affected. “It is relevant to point out that these hotels only serve food and do not serve alcohol or indulge in any other activities such as live bands, discotheques, cabaret or video parlours,’’ said the application.