The Telangana High Court on Monday scheduled lifting restrictions on playing music at night in pubs and bars outside the Jubilee Hills area of Hyderabad, saying an earlier court order banning loud music after 10 p.m. may not be enforced statewide.
On September 12, a single HC judge banned all pubs from playing loud music after 10 p.m. and ordered compliance with permitted noise levels. The judge had ordered strict action to be taken against rule breakers.
The order was passed in response to a petition by residents of Jubilee Hills against several bars and pubs, including Farzi Cafe, Amnesia Lounge Bar, Dirty Martini, Broadway and a few other establishments.
Subsequently, several pubs approached the HC to request a relaxation of the 10 p.m. cut-off time. Some of them reportedly asked to be allowed to play music until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 12 p.m. on the remaining days, according to a 2018 government order.
Challenging the single bench verdict, the National Restaurant Association and the Hyderabad Resto Lounge Association moved the HC to seek redress.
Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Judge CV Bhaskar Reddy said one judge extending the orders to all pubs is invalid. “When work schedules and lifestyles change, such things cannot be stopped. Moreover, Hyderabad is a city where young people come to work from all over the country. So in our view, imposing restrictions on pubs is beyond the usual,” said CJ Ujjal Bhuyan.
The divisional bench also said the appeals will be converted into public interest litigation and will hear them along with motions before a single judge. The case was adjourned to November 17.
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