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Delhi: Aquila restaurant of the ‘No Saree’ controversy shut down by authorities for operating without a license and unhygienic conditions

According to reports, the civic authorities are also mulling to impose a penalty against the eatery for flouting norms.

The Aquila restaurant in Delhi’s upmarket Khel Gaon Marg, which was recently at the centre of a social media controversy after allegedly refusing entry to a saree-clad woman on the night of September 19, has been closed for licencing issues and operating under unhygienic conditions.

As per reports, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) issued a closure notice to the restaurant after it was found that it was operating without a proper trade licence. The notice, which was issued on September 24 mentioned that a health inspector found out the upscale Delhi restaurant has been operating under unhygienic conditions, without proper approvals from the civic authorities.

According to reports, the civic authorities are also mulling to impose a penalty against the eatery for flouting norms.

Confirming the news, Mukesh Suryan the SDMC mayor told PTI: “The Aquila restaurant was operating without a proper licence. It has now been shut after we issued a closure notice. We are also exploring other actions including imposing a penalty in accordance with the DMC (Delhi Municipal Corporation) Act against the eatery as it was functioning without approval from the civic body”.

The owner of the eatery has reportedly closed down the restaurant. He was quoted saying, “I have closed down the above-said trade immediately and I shall not run the same trade without SDMC Trade Licence under the unsanitary conditions from a health point of view and create a nuisance.”

The restaurant is located in South Delhi’s Ansal Plaza in Andrews Ganj. As per reports, an inspection by the Public Health Inspector had found that the restaurant was running under unhygienic conditions and some public land has also been encroached. The local Congress councillor Abhishek Dutt has proposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh upon any restaurant or hotel that denies entry to people wearing Indian clothes. He has also demanded a probe on how was the business running so far without a license.

Aquila restaurant in Delhi involved in the ‘No Saree’ controversy

Recently, the aforementioned restaurant had received a lot of flak after a 10-second video emerged on social media platform on September 20, in which a staff member of the restaurant was seen stopping a woman identified as Anita Choudhary from entering as she was wearing a saree. The staff member in the video was seen saying, “saree is not a smart casual” dress.

The footage drew strong criticism from across sections, and the restaurant started to get negative reviews on all platforms. On the other hand, some netizens stood by the restaurant and said being a private entity, they have the right to admission on their premises. The incident took place on the night of September 19.

On September 23, the National Commission for Women (NCW) had taken cognisance of the viral Delhi restaurant saree entry video and directed authorities to take action for the same. It had also directed the restaurant’s marketing and PR director to appear before it on September 28.

Aquila restaurant in Delhi responds, says guest created nuisance

A day after the social media uproar, Aquila had issued a statement on its Instagram profile. In the statement, the restaurant said that the 10-second video is just a snippet of what had happened on the day of the incident. They also published a couple of videos to show their side of the story and said that the lady was stopped for creating a nuisance.

In one of the videos, the patron who claimed she was stopped from entering the restaurant because of saree as attire was seen slapping one of the staff members of the restaurant.

The restaurant said that the excuse their staff member gave for not allowing them to enter was not in sync with the restaurant’s policies. However, they could not have allowed someone on the premises who had allegedly assaulted a staff member.

Counter statement by the patron

Later, a Twitter user named aryaminii had claimed that the lady in the saree was her mother. She claimed that her mother had only pushed the staff members and not ‘slapped’. She had also acknowledged that they had arrived late, past their reservation time and were told that no seats were available. She also alleged that her mother was confronted by ‘bouncers’ and was misbehaved with by staff.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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