Mumbai: Establishments serving liquor and entertainment in the form of live orchestras, bar dancers and other such activities have much more to worry about, after the commissioner of police issued a new set of stringent orders to his subordinates last week.
If the fear of meeting ACP Vasant Dhoble was a strong deterrent for party animals from venturing out into the night for a tippler, then be prepared for another force to reckon with, as this time there may be no half measures about police raids.
In the line of fire
Commissioner of police Arup Patnaik issued a circular of Friday ordering all police stations to begin cracking down on discos, pubs, bars with live bands, dance bars and hookah parlours if found flouting the rules. The circular also mentions that the police stations must submit weekly reports of action taken to Patnaik and the enforcement department.
Besides this, if any establishments are raided by ACP Dhoble and found to be breaking the law, then not only will the senior inspector of the respective jurisdictional station be held responsible, but even assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners of the respective zones will be taken to task.
According to a source, this move is to do away with the earlier practice, which entailed cops tipping off such establishments about probable raids for a regular fee. "With the commissioner asking the police stations to submit reports, the scenario is bound to change," said the source.
According to a police officer, bars and pubs operating without paying entertainment tax is just one of the rules which is being broken.
"The food and drinking areas are not partitioned and these places are mostly overcrowded and have more than the stipulated number of singers at the venue. Many don't even have the required permissions to operate. Some bars operate as dance bars when they have permission only for orchestra bars," the officer said.
The Social Service (SS) branch used to step into the picture and initiate action against bars only when the jurisdictional police stations failed to do so.
"Patnaik has now directed local police station to take action and submit a report, and if the SS branch raids any premises in any jurisdiction of any police station, immediate action will be taken against those responsible," said the police officer.