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    Published On : Sat, Jul 29th, 2017

    “Mockery being made of Supreme Court decision by few while majority suffer” opine leading lawyers

    Hotel Radisson Blu
    Nagpur:
    “Even if one does not agree with the ramifications of a judicial decision, it has to be respected, because it is the Rule of law. Unless the courts themselves overturn their decisions, they have to be followed in toto and in word and spirit” opines Advocate Akash Avinash Gupta commenting on how certain hotels of the city are circumventing the Apex court’s decision to ban alcohol being served within 500 meters of a state or national highway.

    As reported by TOI today, the state excise department has issued liquor permit to Hotel Radisson Blu, which is located on Wardha Road, a national highway that runs through the city.

    Three restaurants of the hotel have been issued liquor permits but the banquet hall is yet to get one. This was done after the restaurants had had their liquor stocks sealed by Excise Dept. for months as was reported in our earlier story.

    How is 500 meters rule being ‘followed?’

    Radisson management has claimed that their three bars are beyond the 500m limit as they have changed the entrance to lengthen the approach road to them from the highway. Even though the hotel building entrance is located just a few feet from Wardha Road you now have to reach it by a circuitous path. This change of entrance makes you walk a longer distance to reach Ethyl Bar, next to the lobby on the ground floor.

    Radisson has closed the premises entrance that was to the south. Now you have to move further to enter the hotel premises. They have also built a path divider inside the premises to make you take a U-turn while reaching the new building entrance.

    Gets approval from State Excise Department

    Swati Kakde, deputy divisional commissioner of state excise, told TOI that Ethyl Bar on ground floor was 504 metre from Wardha Road, India Oye restaurant — 515 metre and Ni Hao restaurant — 508 metre. “We rejected the application for the banquet hall as it was within the 500 metre margin. No permit has been given to serve liquor in rooms,” she clarified.

    This reasoning really beats all logic The banquet hall of the hotel is situated right in the furthest corner of the hotel, much beyond Ethyl. But that’s a moot point now.

    “The inspiration for this ‘jugad’ comes from hotels in Gurgaon, a rich suburb of Delhi – though officially it is part of the state of Haryana. Some hotels and pubs based in this ultra rich neighborhood created a maize to reach their entrances, and this was allowed by the state’s Excise Dept.” says Akash.

    It is true this was done after Raddison, and another popular hotel on Central Bazar road waited for months for the govt. to decide on denotification or S.C. replied to the Review petition.

    It was a desperate move by these establishments, the surprising factor is how speedily it was accepted by Govt. authorities like the Excise Dept and NMC.

    One hates to burst their bubble, but the question needs to be asked – have the new ‘entrances’ been approved by Architects and NMC?

    We all know how much time it takes to get a new drawing or change in old one approved by city officials!

    This is clear Contempt of the Supreme Court, by both the establishments and Excise officials, and they are taking a great risk, opines legal fraternity of the city.

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