The Supreme Court on Thursday gave its stamp of approval to Bengaluru police commissioner's order of 2005 making it mandatory for all city restaurants that played live band music and organised cabaret dances and discotheques to take a licence in the larger public interest.
The top court directed the police commissioner to ensure that all such restaurants which organised such performances took the licence within a reasonable time and complied with all conditions like emergency exit, no indecent performance, and any other activity that encourages prostitution.
It also ordered the officer to ensure that all fire safety measures were taken and that no noise pollution was caused.
The court also directed for regular inspections with a view to avert any fire incidents as witnessesd in Mumbai recently.
A bench of Justices R K Agrawal and Abhay Manohar Sapre held that the 'Order 2005' issued under Section 31 of the Karnataka Police Act, 1963 for these restaurants does not suffer from any legal infirmity and is therefore constitutional.
The court rejected contentions by Karnataka Live Band Restaurants Association that the conditions imposed were "harsh, unworkable, unreasonable" and put unreasonable restrictions on their fundamental right to carry on their business.
"The conditions directly deal with the public safety, comforts, convenience, morality and law and order and we have not been able to find any kind of unreasonableness or arbitrariness so as to hold that they are unworkable for running the restaurant and to display the three performances," Justice Sapre said in the judgement authored by him.
The court took "judicial notice" of a recent fire in a Mumbai restaurant and similar incident in the 1997 Uphaar Theater in Delhi that claimed lives for so many people due to lapses.