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    Published On : Tue, Dec 31st, 2013
    Latest News | By Nagpur Today Nagpur News

    Final straw: Wine bars, permit rooms to close at 1.30 am in city, asserts Deputy SP (Excise)

    The Home Ministry has permitted wine bars and permit rooms to remain open till 5 am of January 1 for the year-end parties. Even the Bombay High Court upheld the Government permission when Mumbai hoteliers moved the Court.

    Nagpur News.

    The battle between two high-profile ministers in Maharashtra Government over December 31 revelry took a new turn when the Bombay High Court stepped into the Battle Royale and twisted it to the new shape. The High Court has ordered that wine bars and permit rooms can remain open till 5 am of January 1, 2014.

    However, Nagpur Deputy SP (Excise) has firmly ruled out the permission for bars and permit rooms to stay open till 5 am. “All the liquor shops, wine bars and permit rooms will be closed at 1.30 am. It is the question of safety and security in today’s volatile situation. The city police, too, have geared up to enforce closure of liquor jaunts at the dot,”  Deputy SP (Excise) told Nagpur Today. The Collector has powers to enforce downing of shutters at his discretion notwithstanding the Government orders when it is matter of safety and security.

    The war of words was ensuing between Social Justice Minister Shivajirao Moghe and Home Minister R R Patil the day Home Ministry permitted wine bars to remain open till 5 am of January 1 for the year-end parties. The permission by Home Ministry outraged Shivajirao Moghe as the Social Justice Ministry was observing “De-addiction Pledge Campaign” fortnight from December 15 to December 31. The Social Justice Ministry spent lakhs of rupees on special publicity in almost all media, printed posters having photos of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Shivajirao Moghe himself and Brand Ambassadors for De-addiction Actor Sidhharth Sontakke and Social Worker Sindhutai Sapkal. The media are still running the advertisements on the “De-addiction Pledge Campaign” fortnight. So the expectations were running high that December 31 would be declared “Dry Day.”

    However, the Home Ministry permission first exposed the double standards of the Maharashtra Government, and second, brought the two ministers on the “street for open fight.” The Social Justice Minister Shivajirao Moghe, boiling with anger, fired salvos after salvos against Home Minister R R Patil for the open invitation to liquor revelry for December 31 fun and frolic.

    According to sources, R R Patil has reportedly told Moghe that the Home Ministry gives permission every year and thus mops up crores of revenue. However, Moghe countered the Patil’s statement by saying that the wine enjoyers would go for “Cheers” even if the bars and permit rooms are closed at 2 am. They could stock the bottles. So there will not be any loss of revenue to Government, Moghe said.

    There is another battlefield being created. The Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh has bluntly refused to follow Home Ministry orders on the safety and security grounds. The Commissioner’s blunt refusal may bring Satyapal Singh and R R Patil in the ring for “wrestling.” And the Commissioner of Police may be even moved out of Mumbai in the name of transfer.

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