The Commissioner of Police of Bengaluru has issued notice to shut down music (live and recorded) in those pubs that play music without the necessary licenses from tomorrow.
Speaking to TNM, T Suneel Kumar, the Commissioner of Police confirmed the move and said, “We have given them sufficient notice period and had asked them to comply with the licensing requirements. Now, we have issued an order to close music in pubs that haven’t complied with the notice from tomorrow.”
Reacting to the order, a staff member of a prominent pub in Indiranagar said, "We had applied for the NOC from the Fire Safety department and are yet to receive it. We have also asked the landlord to provide us the Occupancy Certificate (OC) for the building. There is some delay from his end.”
However, the Joint Commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) East said the civic body is yet to receive intimation from the police regarding this decision. He added that the same would be implemented once it is received by the BBMP.
The Bengaluru Police began sending out notices to the pubs that play live music without license after the Supreme Court upheld a 2005 order earlier this year which mandated the license. The notice also mentioned a list of documents to be submitted by the establishments to play any form of music deemed as public entertainment on their premises. Occupancy certificate (OC), a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Fire Safety department are a few of the documents that the pub owners had to submit to obtain license to play music, according to the notice sent by the police.
OCs are mandatory for commercial spaces or residential buildings with more than five apartments. It is an approval of the building’s structural integrity after which one can “occupy” the property.
Also, 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 was upheld by the Supreme Court in January 2018 after the Kamala Mills tragedy in Mumbai.
The Commissioner of Police had earlier stated that if the owners fail to provide the required documents within the mandated time period, they will be not be allowed to play music.
A few pub owners had approached the Karnataka High Court for relief in January after the SC order, because many of them did not have Occupancy Certificates and the HC had given them a month’s time to comply with the norms. The HC also added that for buildings constructed before 1976, a Fitness certificate issued by officers who are at the ranks of jurisdictional engineers and above in the BBMP would suffice.