Recently, the news of a ban on recorded music in Delhi’s bars had started doing the rounds. As per reports, bars around the city, which were serving liquor under the L-17 license of the Delhi Excise Rules, 2010, could only have “live singing/playing of instruments by professionals”. The Delhi government had imposed the directive on about 900 establishments across the city. However, a recent update has now clarified that there is no ban on recorded music.
The directive, which was issued on May 16, had left many restaurateurs troubled, following which, Excise Commissioner Amjad Tak, in a statement to IANS on Monday, said, “The Excise Department has not banned recorded music in restobars. No action will be taken against them.”
Confusions arose after the excised department issued circulars to establishments across the city, which stated: “It is reiterated that the L-17 licensee is permitted only to have live singing/playing of instruments by professionals within his licensed premises. Violation of these rules shall lead to strict action as per law.”
The order was reportedly issued in light of complaints from bars in several places around the city, including, Defence Colony, Khan Market, and Rajouri Garden.
When Dhruv Mehta, owner of The Vault cafe in Connaught Place, received the May 16 circular, he was initially shocked. “I can’t really comment on a decision that is so stupid.” Manoj Kashyap, the manager of House of Commons, hadn’t been notified about the circular, but felt that it was an “inconvenience”. “These regulations should only come into the picture when the music becomes a disturbance, but that has never been a problem for us,” he said. “Not everyone likes live music. We choose music as per our customers’ preferences.”
As per Garish Oberoi, the President of Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) the circular “does not make sense” and that the “Excise Department cannot choose what type of music can be played”.
Listing the reasons for deeming live music less noisy than recorded music, Tak had earlier said that live performances were “softer” and “controlled”, The Hindustan Times reported.
However, in the statement on Monday, Tak asserted that complaints about noisy bars do not fall under their jurisdiction. “We are getting complaints about loud music, but it is not our work. We will forward it to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee,” he said.
TL;DR – Y’all can chill. Your DJs can still play.