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HC raps cops for singling out Hotel Sea Princess on disco issue

DCP (traffic) rejected permission to issue a licence to run a discotheque as the hotel does not have a partition wall separating the disco and restaurant.

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HC raps cops for singling out Hotel Sea Princess on disco issue
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Reprimanding the Mumbai police for allegedly singling out Hotel Sea Princess unfairly over other hotels, the Bombay high court on Thursday requested commissioner of police Arup Patnaik to appear in court on March 31.

The high court was hearing a petition filed by Hotel Sea Princess that challenged an order passed by the deputy commissioner of police (traffic), rejecting permission to issue a licence to run a discotheque as the hotel does not have a partition wall separating the disco and restaurant.

Last October, the HC had directed the traffic police to consider the hotel’s application afresh in an unbiased and non-discriminatory manner.

A division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice RD Dhanuka was informed on Thursday that the traffic police had rejected the hotel’s application and issued it a show-cause notice on March 20. Similar show- cause notices were issued to eight other hotels, including Grand Hyatt, Le Meriden and J W Marriott.

The court was irked by the fact that the police had seemingly woken up only in March.

Justice Majmudar said:  “It seems like you (police) have issued the notice just to show to the court that some action has been taken. It is an eyewash. From October nothing has been done, and just a week before the matter is to come up for hearing, notices have been issued.”

 “We want the police  commissioner to tell us what steps will be taken against such officers who have flouted our order and taken action just to appease the issue. If somebody has done something wrong, he will be punished,” said justice Majmudar.

MM Vashi, advocate for the petitioner, claimed there were several hotels running discotheques without the specified partition but no action was being taken against them.

The court also directed the traffic police to take action against all hotels that do not follow the rules prescribed while issued licences to run their discotheques.

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