The Bombay High Court said besides the city civic body the Maharashtra government also had some responsibility to check that hotels, restaurants and bars were following all norms and conditions. “If there are any violations in hotels or bars or restaurants where liquor is served it is the state excise department’s responsibility and job too to keep a check,” a division bench of justices R M Borde and R G Ketkar said. The HC was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by former police commissioner Julio Ribeiro seeking a judicial inquiry into the Kamala Mills fire incident in which 14 patrons lost their life on December 29 last year. “There has to be some mechanism to carry out periodic checks on such eateries to check if there are any violations,” the bench said.
As directed by the HC earlier this week, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation submitted its policy for granting permission to roof-top hotels and restaurants and the licenses granted to two pubs 1Above and Mojo’s Bistro where the blaze had broken out in the Kamala Mills compound in Central Mumbai. The bench will continue hearing the matter on Thursday. The fire incident is being probed by the BMC. The HC on February 12 sought to know from the civic body if there was any policy which allowed them to grant licences to hotels, restaurants and pubs to operate on the roof-top or terrace of a building. A total of 12 officials from the BMC and the fire brigade department have been booked in the case for alleged negligence and a departmental enquiry has also been initiated against them.