On a day when restaurants re-opened in the city after over two months in the wake of COVID-19 lockdown, police arrested four people for allegedly violating social distancing norms by organising a birthday party at a restaurant in west Delhi's Rajouri Garden, officials said on Tuesday.
The police said 38 people attended the party on Monday which was organised in violation of norms issued by the government amid COVID-19 pandemic and also for failing to maintain social distancing.
Following the orders of the Centre, the Delhi government decided to open restaurants, shopping malls, and places of worship from Monday.
According to specific guidelines issued by the Centre regarding the opening of these places, they will have to strictly adhere to maintaining social distancing, wearing masks and restaurants have been asked to encourage takeaways instead of dine-in. In case of dine-in, only 50 percent occupancy will be allowed.
According to police, a team of policemen who were on patrolling duty in the area on Monday noticed some movement near Qubitos restaurant on Najafgarh road. At around 9 pm, when they conducted a surprise check at the restaurant, they found that a birthday party was being held with 38 people where hukka was also being served.
During enquiry, those who attended the party told police that they came to the premises believing that the owner of the restaurant and the party organiser will observe social distancing and take necessary precautions, a senior police officer said.
The officer added that as per rule, while only 50 per cent occupancy can be allowed in a restaurant for dine-in. The restaurant which has a dine-in capacity for 48 people, exceeded the limit and made way for 38 people and also violated the social distancing norms.
The owner of the restaurant identified as Akshay Chhadha (37), manager Manoj Kapoor (29), party organizer Manaan Majid (27) and Mohd Asif who was celebrating his 25th birthday at the restaurant were among the four who were held responsible for not following government's norms and violating social distancing amid coronavirus pandemic, the police said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Deepak Purohit said all the four accused were arrested and released on bail.
A case was registered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, he added.