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SC Fines Mumbai Pub Rs 5 lakh for Playing Loud Music Till Early Morning

The Supreme Court held the promoters of Drinking Kulture guilty of contempt and said they must suffer monetary penalty. But the bench spared them jail, saying they are young and it was their first mistake.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:November 16, 2017, 6:37 PM IST
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SC Fines Mumbai Pub Rs 5 lakh for Playing Loud Music Till Early Morning
‘Drinking Kulture’ has been a reason of rage for residents of Evertop Apartments since the bar operates from inside the society premises. (Photo: Facebook)
New Delhi: Playing loud music till early morning has come with a price for a tony bar in Mumbai.

The owners of 'Drinking Kulture' have been held guilty of contempt by the Supreme Court. They saved themselves from going to jail only after much pleading. Instead, they will now have to cough up Rs 5 lakh fine.

A bench of Justices Rohinton F Nariman and Sanjay K Kaul was convinced only by the argument that the promoters of Wallstreet Hospitality, which runs the Andheri high-rise based club, were young and remorseful of their conduct.

“They will all go straight to jail. How could they flout orders of this Court?” asked the bench, when it took up a contempt application, pointing out the club remained open every day till 7 am in the morning with gaudy music, leaving the residents of the area sleepless through the night.

‘Drinking Kulture’ has been a reason of rage for residents of Evertop Apartments since the lounge bar operates from a commercial premises inside the society building.

According to the RWA, their agreement with the redeveloper was that the shared premises will not be used for any bar, pub or disco, but it was let out for Wallstreet Hospitality and the bar came up in December last year.

The RWA won the first legal battle with the arbitrator deciding in their favour. Drinking Kulture was restrained in June against playing loud music and selling liquor.

Wallstreet Hospitality challenged this ban order in the apex court but in July, the bench headed by Justice Nariman shot down their plea and gave them time till December 31 to vacate the premises. The pub’s counsel also undertook before the court that henceforth, Drinking Kulture will shut at 1 am.

But a contempt plea pointed out that the pub owners had been beaching their undertaking with impunity and that it still remained open till 7 am and the jarring music kept them up every night.

The bench was irate over apparent defiance of its directives and the senior counsel’s undertaking on behalf of the RWA said that promoters of Wallstreet Hospitality should spend some time behind bars to pay for their deeds.

At this, the counsel for the pub owners and promoters made vehement requests to let them off this time and that they were tendering unconditional apology. The lawyer said that they were willing to abide by any condition deemed appropriate by the bench and that the clients should be given one more chance.

The bench then said that in view of the fact that the owners are young and that it was their first mistake, the court would not send them to jail but they must suffer monetary penalty.

“We, first and foremost hold that they are in contempt of this Court's order. However, considering the plea of learned counsel and the fact that the contemnors appear to be contrite, we impose a fine of Rs 5 lakh to be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within a period of four weeks from today,” held the bench.

Notably, any further instance of non-compliance is bound to land owners and promoters of Drinking Kulture in grave troubles since they have already been held guilty of contempt by the top court.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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