Thursday, September 03, 2009

Police shatter Empire Hotels' midnight dreams

Police shatter Empire Hotels' midnight dreams

MK Madhusoodan. Bangalore



The city police have rejected an application filed by the Empire Hotels seeking permission to keep the eateries open from midnight to 3 am.
"Keeping in view the general social, cultural, domestic situation and family conditions prevailing in the city, there is no need to keep eateries and restaurants open beyond midnight in the city," the city police commissioner Shankar M Bidari said in his reply to nine arguments that the group had made in its application.
The application was filed by one of the promoters of the hotel group, NKP Abdul Haq, following an August 10 High Court directive to the police commissioner to consider the group's request. The city police had on May 19, ordered the closure of all eateries in the city by midnight.
Rejecting the application, Bidari said that there was no need for students or foreigners to stay awake late into the night and then visit the hotels owned by the applicant between midnight and 3 am. The applicant had submitted that the hotels, situated in busy industrial and commercial areas, cater to those working in the locality. Police countered this argument saying in-house canteens in such industries cater to their needs.
Responding to the group's contention that it was paying Rs20 lakh each month as tax, the police commissioner said all other business establishments were also doing the same. "If the applicant does not pay the taxes, he will be liable for prosecution and penalty," Bidari said.
To the contention that the hotel chain had helped controlling epidemics and diseases, the police retorted that keeping Empire group's six hotels open from midnight to 3 am would not prevent the spread of various diseases.

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