Bombay HC grants license renewal fee relief for hotels and restaurants amid Covid-19 pandemic



The Bombay High Court has granted relief to the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (IHAR), which has more than 8,000 bars, restaurants and hotels as members, from license renewal fees for hotels and restaurants. Issuing of an order. The High Court also ordered the Maharashtra Excise Department to promptly review and rule on the matter within one month.

The association had requested compensation related to the payment of license fees due to the closure of business due to pandemic-induced lockdown.

A bench of High Court Justices SC Gupta and MS Karnik noted that the association’s grievance was due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of members’ businesses due to restrictions imposed by the state in due to the pandemic.

“The petitioners deserve a rebate or relief in the license fees to be paid for the renewal of the FL-III license they hold,” the judiciary said.

Similar requests have been filed and interim measures have been granted by the courts. “On payment of a 50% license renewal fee, existing licensees applying to the court were allowed to operate their respective alcoholic beverage and beverage service businesses under their FL-III license,” noted the tribunal.

On June 23, the judiciary granted similar interim measures to the United Hospitality Association, an organization made up of nearly 500 hotel and restaurant owners in Pune.

“Nothing distinguishes the facts of the case of the current applicants from the facts of these other cases”, declared the magistracy while noting that the association had made an approach with the State on March 13 and June 12 to ask for repairs.

“These representations must in any case be decided by the defendants. In the meantime, the members of the petitioners deserve the same interim measure as that granted to the petitioners in other cases,” he added.

“As a result, petitioners are allowed to deposit 50% of the license renewal fee with the respondent state. within four weeks. ”added the court.

The court will now hear oral arguments on July 16.

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