The Bombay High Court asked Maharashtra Government to explain under which authority of law they have decided to post constables in and outside the restaurant-cum-bars in nearby Thane district, where women waitress serve liquor to guests.
The court also asked Thane police to explain the need to deploy constables in and outside the premises of the bars.
“Although surveillance is necessary, sometimes police have to strike a balance between performing their duties and allowing bar owners to conduct their business,” the judges observed.
A division bench of Justices N H Patil and Abhay Thipsay was hearing a petition filed by owners of bars and restaurants from Thane challenging deployment of policemen in and outside their premises to keep a watch whether lady waitresses are not working beyond the stipulated deadline.
The Bombay High Court also questioned the rationale behind deploying policemen in and outside restaurants and bars for the purpose of ensuring that waitresses did not work beyond the deadline, even though there is a severe shortage of policemen to deal with crime.
A total of 36 petitions have been filed in the high court by restaurant and bar owners, claiming that since November 2013, policemen have been deployed outside their business premises.
Thane police today filed an affidavit justifying the presence of policemen at the bars and restaurants while Counsel for the petitioners, Veena Thadani, sought one week time to file a reply. The Court allowed her plea and deferred the hearing to April 1.
Advocate Veena Thadani appearing for the petitioner argued that “their (policemen’s) presence creates fear in our patrons and affects our business”.
She also argued that policemen are sitting there from 1 pm to 1 am occupying a table.
Public Prosecutor S K Shinde opposed the plea saying “We have come across untoward incidents and the practice is adopted in public interest. There has to be some regulation