Buildings constructed before 1976 can submit a certificate of structural stability or “fitness certificate” issued by the BBMP.

 No relief for pub owners in Bluru Ktaka HC gives one month deadline to submit OC
news Regulation Tuesday, July 03, 2018 - 18:38

In what could hurt Bengaluru’s image as the pub city, some of the city’s watering holes might be soon be served closure notices for not having an occupancy certificate (OC) from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

After the Supreme Court upheld a 2005 order this year which mandated the list of documents establishments had to submit in order to play any form of music deemed as public entertainment on their premises, the Bengaluru police began sending out notices. Following this, a few owners approached the Karnataka High Court for relief, because many of them did not have OCs. However, on Monday, the HC directed owners to give an OC to the police in a month’s time.

However, as an exception for buildings constructed before 1976, the HC has said a certificate of structural stability or “fitness certificate”, issued by jurisdictional engineers and above ranks of the BBMP can be submitted instead of OC. This is because OCs were issued only after Karnataka Municipal Corporations (KMC) Act, 1976 came into place.

Owners had challenged the police notice, which sought a copy of the OC along with several other documents, in order to obtain permission. Bengaluru Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar said that if the owners fail to provide the copy of the OC within the mandated time period, they will be shut.

“For now, we will not allow live bands or music at those places. If they do not produce the OC, they will be issued a closure notice as per the Supreme Court order Bengaluru City Commissioner,” Suneel Kumar told TNM.  

OCs are mandatory for commercial spaces or residential buildings with more than five apartments and is an approval of the building’s structure and construction after which one can “occupy” the property.

According to the Licensing and Controlling of Places of Public Entertainment (Bangalore City) Order, 2005, all enterprises have to seek permission from the police to play any form of music that can be deemed as public entertainment. This order law was upheld by the Supreme Court in January 2018 in the wake of the Kamala Mills tragedy in Mumbai.

Based on that, the police sent notices to establishments in phases since March, which listed an occupancy certificate as a mandatory document to apply for a license, which was challenged by some establishments in the Karnataka High Court.

Read: B’luru police’s drive to regulate entertainment faces opposition from pub owners, artists

Earlier, speaking to TNM, Suneel Kumar had insisted the importance of OCs, saying, “The occupancy certificate means that the building has adhered to the plan approved by authorities. If they cannot obtain an occupancy certificate now, then they should move their establishment to a building that already has it."

Read: B’luru police’s drive to regulate entertainment faces opposition from pub owners, artists

Currently, many of Bengaluru’s bars and pubs function without these documents after they receive the go-ahead from Excise Department.

Speaking to TNM, a pub manager said that until now, all the bars and pubs had a free run, and claimed that many prominent bars will not be able to follow the new norms. This would potentially mean that many of the Bengaluru’s watering holes and popular eateries will be barred from playing music.

He hinted that this might affect the industry as people might choose to drink at their homes if there is no music.

“For an owner to shut business is not much of a loss. But think what will happen to the staff working here. Think of the DJs and other live music performers,” he said.

Read: BBMP crackdown: Closure notices issued to 69 Bengaluru rooftop restaurants, bar

 

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