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'Disco floor at Maya Bar and Lounge illegal'

A DAY after officials from the Rural Police Crime Branch raided Maya Bar and Lounge in Wagholi, owned by Anti-Terrorism Squad Police Inspector Rajnish Nirmal’s wife Anjali and busted a booze party in wee hours of Sunday, officials from the District Collector’s office said the owners had been operating the disco floor illegally since December 31, 2011.

They claimed the lounge owners had failed to pay entertainment and special tax for having a disco floor.


Covered: Female partygoers leave Maya Bar and Lounge after the police busted the booze party in the wee hours of Sunday. File pic

Officials said they would be filing a complaint under Section 5 of the Bombay Entertainment Duty Act 1923 against Anjali Nirmal and Harmit Sahani and Ibrahim Abdul Jaheer Abbas, who had taken the property on rent from her.

“Collector office issues licence for discotheques and bars in rural areas. So we have right to file a police complaint. We’ll penalise them and cancel their earlier permits which they had acquired to run the place as an eatery,” Resident Deputy Collector Anil Pawar said.

Officials from the District Entertainment Tax Department said any hotel having a disco floor in a rural area has to pay Rs 25,000 per month, while city hotels must pay Rs 50,000.

“These are fixed charges. In case a hotel wants to host a special programme, then owners need to take permission and pay extra tax for that. Hotels in Koregaon Park area, which have a dance floor, pay anywhere between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh as entertainment tax,” an official said.

Pawar said after a tax collection drive was initiated in December 2010, city hotels were paying taxes regularly.

“There is ‘blanket permission’ system for hotels which organise these kinds of programmes — booze parties — occasionally. There are many bars and hotels in rural areas that organize parties without paying entertainment tax. It is very difficult to trace such places. For tax collection we have a team of 11 Entertainment Tax Inspectors, which is not sufficient. Every inspector has been assigned three to four tehsils and have been permitted seek information and cooperation from the police,” Pawar said.

Officials said the lounge owners were liable to pay twice the amount of pending taxes, plus Rs 2,000 for not securing licence to run a disco floor. 

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