The Bombay High Court on Wednesday pulled up the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for granting permission to an illegal eatery in Kandivali (East) without checking if it had the required licence. A bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and B P Colabawalla was hearing a plea filed by one Kabita Jalui, urging the court to direct the BMC to shut down Aaamantran Restaurant at Evershine Millenium Paradise.
Jalui, who is the owner of the premises where the restaurant is located, told the court that the restaurant has been operating without a licence since 2014, when its five-year lease expired.
The court was informed that the restaurant was given an NOC for piped natural gas in 2006 despite it not having a licence for the same.
On Wednesday, the court took note of an affidavit filed by Chief Fire Officer (CFO). The bench pointed out that the CFO proceeded on the basis of an ‘existing permitted eating house’.
When special counsel Girish Godbole said it was an ‘error’, Justice Kathawalla asked if the same error had reflected on the letters forwarded to concerned departments.
“This is a negligence on the part of fire officers… It is not an error but sheer lethargy and callous attitude by fire department. What is the sense of having a fire department?” Justice Kathawalla said.
Justice Colabawalla said the corporation could check if the unlicensed restaurant poses imminent danger to lives of people and take required action under Section 8 of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006.
The court also inquired whether the state government has issued notification that fixes responsibility on occupants of the premises to take precautionary measures regarding risk of fire under section 4 (1) of the Fire Act.
Justice Kathawalla said it was an important issue since a notification would empower authorities to direct removal, seizure and detention of goods likely to cause risk of fire.
The bench sought assistance of Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni during the next hearing this week.
At the previous hearing, the bench had asked BMC to submit records pertaining to permissions issued so far to the restaurant.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines