BENGALURU: Clubs in Bengaluru may soon go dry following a sudden wake up call from the Excise and Revenue Departments that they could be violating licence conditions if they are not registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960. Deputy Commissioner, Revenue (Bengaluru, urban) is the licensing authority and takes cognizance of complaints filed by the Excise Department against its licencees.
Most of the clubs including Bangalore Club and Turf Club are registered under the Companies Act and are not entitled to CL4 - the commercial Excise licence under which they have been serving alcohol to their customers for decades now. Clubs, according to sources, are reluctant to get themselves registered under the Societies Act because that would bring them under government audit and control.
The crackdown by the District administration is surprising considering that they were renewing the licences of the clubs for years and it's only now that they have realised the mismatch between the club registration and the Excise licence rules According to sources, Bangalore Club was issued CL4 in 1999, before which it used to serve alcohol under the CL9 -licence for bar & restaurant.
“We don't know how the Departments issued them CL4 and renewed it yearly. We are correcting the error now and asking those clubs, which are not registered under the Societies Act to do so. A similar notice has been issued to Turf Club on Friday. They are given 30 days time to reply to us,” said an Excise officer.
Bangalore Club has been in the eye of storm since last year for illegally serving alcohol from multiple counters. After they refused to register under the Societies Act, the Deputy Commissioner, Revenue, Bengaluru (Urban) V.Shankar on July 3 cancelled their CL4 licence.
“The Club is registered under the Companies Act and is not entitled to CL4 licence. The last date for renewal of Excise license was June 30 and Bangalore Club also had applied for licence. Their application was overturned because of their registration,” said the officer....