Delhi Excise Department Says No ‘Ban’ On Recorded Music In Restobars


The Delhi government has banned recorded music in Delhi’s pubs and bars saying that only live bands are allowed to play at these establishments. However, the pub and bar owners have decided to fight back, seeking an amendment to the excise policy rules with immediate effect.

In a circular, the government warned bars and pubs to not play recorded music citing a rule that bars are banned from doing so and only live bands or professionals with musical instruments are permitted to play there. The circular was issued to L17 license holders or independent restaurants that have liquor permits. However, restaurants and clubs in hotels are exempted. “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 circular read.

According to the Excise Department, the residents complained of noise from pubs in places such as Khan Market, Defence Colony and Rajouri Garden. However, earlier today, the Delhi Excise Department said that no ‘ban’ will be imposed on the playing of recorded music in pubs and bars. Speaking to IANS, Excise Commissioner Amjad Tak said, “The Excise Department has not banned recorded music in restobars. No action will be taken against them.”

He also added that the circular only mentioned “live singing/playing of instruments by professionals”, but nowhere said that playing of recorded music was banned.

Earlier when questioned about how live music was any less noisy than recorded music, Tak said that live music was ‘softer’ and more ‘controlled but had no data to support his claims. However, experts say there is no scientific study on whether recorded or live music is less noisy when measured in decibel, a unit used to determine the intensity of sound.

Speaking to the Economic Times, Rahul Singh, President of National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) said music is an integral part of the customer experience. “Any nuisance created through music should be based on the decibel levels as prescribed by the law. Any violation on this front should be dealt on a case to case basis and a blanket ban on the entire industry is erroneous in nature.” NRAI also worked with the excise department to resolve the issue.




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