New Delhi: The Delhi Excise Department on Tuesday clarified on the ‘ban’ on playing of recorded music in restobars in the city following an order from Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
“There has been mis-interpretation in various newspapers of the circular dated May 16… the circular of the Excise Department is to be understood only in the limited context of Para 53 (4) of Delhi Excise Rules, 2010, and nothing more should be read out of it,” the clarification said.
According to Rule 53 (4), “The licensee shall not permit any professional entertainment or dancing, or the playing of musical instruments or singing by professionals, to be carried on his premises in such a way as to attract the general attention of his customers.
“Provided that this condition shall not apply to a hotel or a restaurant or a club licensed in forms L-15, L-16, L-17, L-28 and L-29, except in so far it is imposed by the Deputy Commissioner by general or special order. However, in the case of L-17 licensee only live singing/playing of instruments by professionals shall be allowed.”
The circular said that no new direction has been issued by the department on playing of recorded music in restaurants.
In the May 16 circular, the Excise Department said: “It is reiterated that the L-17 licensee (restaurants which serve liquor) is permitted only to have live singing/playing of instruments by professionals within his licensed premises. Violation of these rules shall lead to strict action as per law.”
Following flak from different quarters, Excise Commissioner Amjad Tak on Monday said that the department has “not banned” playing of recorded music in restobars.
Tak said that though the circular said “only live singing/playing of instruments by professionals”, nowhere did it mention that the recorded music was banned.
On Tuesday, referring to the May 16 circular, Sisodia said in his order: “The file was not shown to me before issuing the order. However, I have found that the order was not for imposing any ban of such nature… considering the confusion created by misinterpretation of the order, the Excise Department needs to issue a clarification order with respect to the above.”
Sisodia asked the Commissioner to submit a “compliance report” by Wednesday.