Delhi police clamp down on drinkers, say ‘no’ to bars opening until 3am


Delhi Police told the Delhi High Court on Tuesday that they were not in favor of bars and restaurants serving alcohol being allowed to stay open until 3 a.m. The Delhi Police barrister told Judge Yashwant Varma that the agency was saying no to extending the closing time beyond 1 a.m. The high court had previously asked the Delhi Police and the Excise Department to set up an advisory group to look into the matter.

Meetings of the relevant officials have been held and the Delhi Police are not in favor of extending the deadline, his lawyer Harish V Shankar told the court. The court was hearing a petition from the National Restaurant Association of India seeking directions to stop Delhi police from interfering with the operation and management of restaurants and bars until 3 a.m. in terms of excise policy.

The court had previously made it clear that while it had no intention of preventing the Excise Department from developing a policy allowing bars to remain open until 3 a.m., it must be harmonized with police authority to regulate the operational schedule of restaurants and places of public entertainment. In their report, city police said at Joint Advisory Group meetings that their officials objected to bars being allowed to operate past 1 a.m. on several grounds. Police, while pointing to the “unique demographics” of the nation’s capital, said there were several prominent offices and residences and the city reflected the ugly and irresponsible behavior of people under the influence of the late night alcohol.

The report says women’s safety is a big concern and given the acute shortage of manpower available from the Delhi Police, the opening hours of bars in restaurants and clubs should not be be extended. The report states that police officials who attended the meetings suggested that since the decision to extend the deadline was taken by the Delhi government, the views of the law enforcement agency might be sent to the competent authority for review.

On the other hand, Delhi government officials present at the meetings argued that fixing the time bars can operate is a political decision taken after wide consultation. The Excise Department insisted that improving the capital’s nightlife was important to providing visitors with a world-class experience. They said there were more than 150 bars located near the arrival and departure terminals of the international airport which operated 24 hours a day, and suggested that the advisory group, taking a liberal approach, could explore the possibility of extending the schedules in a staggered manner. way in some areas. The court requested that the situation report filed by the authorities be recorded and scheduled the case for a rehearing on November 23.

Permanent Advocate Santosh Kumar Tripathi and Advocate Arun Panwar are representing the Delhi government in this case. After detailed deliberations in the meetings, it was decided that the views of the advisory committee will be submitted to the High Court and the Delhi government for proper decision, the report adds.

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