A south Delhi restaurant that allegedly denied entry to a saree-clad woman last week has been shut after civic authorities issued it a closure notice for operating without a trade licence, officials said Wednesday. South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) mayor Mukesh Suryan confirmed that the restaurant has been closed.
"The Aquila restaurant was operating without a proper licence. It has now been shut after we issued a closure notice. We are also exploring other actions including imposing a penalty in accordance with the DMC (Delhi Municipal Corporation) Act against the eatery as it was functioning without approval from the civic body," Suryan said.
SDMC officials said Wednesday a closure notice was issued to the Aquila Restaurant located at Ansal Plaza in Andrews Ganj on September 24 for operating without a valid licence.
The closure notice said the area public health inspector found during a check on September 21 that the facility is running without a health trade licence and under unhygienic conditions. It also flagged alleged encroachment on public land.
"The public health inspector again inspected the site on September 24 and found that the trade is running under the same condition. You are directed to close the trade within 48 hours of the receipt of this notice failing which suitable action including sealing will be taken without assigning further notice," the SDMC notice issued to the restaurant-owner said.
In his response on September 27, the owner said, "I have closed-down the above said trade immediately and I shall not run the same trade without SDMC Trade Licence under insanitary condition from health point of view and create nuisance."
In a social media post last week a woman had alleged she was refused entry in the south Delhi restaurant because she was wearing a saree. The woman had also posted a short video of her argument with the restaurant staff, alongside a couple of pictures of herself in the saree. Later, the restaurant claimed that the incident was "misrepresented".
In the SDMC House meeting Wednesday, Congress councillor from Andrews Ganj Abhishek Dutt raised the issue and moved a proposal demanding a fine of Rs 5 lakh be imposed against any restaurant, bar or hotel that denies entry to any person wearing traditional Indian attire.
"The Aquila restaurant was running illegally without licence. The notice was issued to the eatery only after I raised the issue. Now, the authorities have informed that the restaurant has been shut. It is a matter of probe that how the restaurant was running without a licence," he told PTI Taking cognisance of the case, the National Commission for Women (NCW) had on September 23 had asked the Delhi Police to probe the incident.