December 11, 2005
Within a week of partial restoration of nightlife, it’s shutdown time again in Bangalore.
Nipping a short lease of life provided to places of public entertainment by the Supreme Court, the Bangalore Police have once again made licence from the force mandatory for places of public entertainment like cabarets, discotheques, live music and dancing in restaurants.
The re-issued Licensing and Controlling of Places of Public Entertainment (Bangalore City) Order, 2005, which came into force on Friday followed protests in the state legislature against the unregulated proliferation of cabarets in the city.
The police had earlier issued the order, bringing establishments offering live entertainment ‘‘while serving alcohol’’ under its purview, on May 24. Around 49 establishments in the city applied for licenses under the orders, but in vain.
The Bangalore Live Band Restaurant Owners’ Association then challenged the order in the Karnataka High Court on the grounds that they were issued without calling for objections from the owners. The court rejected the plea and asked the state to redraft the rules after considering the objections.
On December 2, following special leave petitions by the association, the Supreme Court ruled that ‘‘live bands shall be allowed to operate until appropriate rules are framed’’ and ‘‘till the requisite licences are granted’’.
‘‘From Friday night, no public entertainment spots defined under the new order can function without a licence,’’ a senior police official said.
The police have made small changes in the new order as the earlier one was criticised for not discerning between various categories of public entertainment.
The new rules mention that Indian music recital and dance performances in establishments will not require a licence. Also new to the order is a clause where a public notice has to be issued within 15 days of a licence application. The order also permits public entertainment establishments to stay open beyond 11:30 pm only on three days in a year for which the licence is valid.
Last time around, while cabarets shut down, restaurants, lounge bars and discotheques stopped offering live and dance music and also closed out all dancing spaces.
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