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Bars would be sealed in Gurgaon if they are caught serving alcohol out in the open!
Recently, when I and a friend visited The Beer Cafe in Cyber Hub, I was pleasantly surprised when they asked for our Identity cards and said that they will serve alcohol only inside the cafe. It was a lovely day and me and my friend wanted just one drink outside the cafe. They refused pointblank and my friend saw red. However, we took to another place- Italiano in Cyber Hub and faced no problem whatsoever. However, I finally understood the entire scenario when I read a report that the excise office has rendered notices to three places in Cyber Hub for serving alcohol in the open- The Beer Cafe, Soi 7 and The Wine Company.

According to the Haryana Excise Act, liquor is banned from being served or consumed in open spaces. Although the violation of this ban is all around us- near the thekas, in the pubs with open terraces and near street side, but only these three restaurants were penalized. Don't get me wrong, they were not right, but why leave the other restaurants in Cyber Hub to be as they are?

The representatives of all the three eateries refused to talk, but when I assured one representative of the Beer Cafe, he finally agreed to it on the conditions of anonymity. He said, ''we were given a notice not to serve alcohol out in the open and they said if we violated, they would seal our place. Also, we don't understand as to why we have been asked when there are others, who do not follow the rules? And you would see people drinking openly outside, but they are not questioned. They just want to create problems for Cyber Hub people.''

It is a valid question and certainly piqued my interest. Dharamveer Singh Dhaiya, Duty, Excise and Taxation Commissioner Gurgaon rubbished these claimed and said, ''There is nothing biased about our system. We would definitely challan these other place, if we find faults with them. We cannot deploy a person 24X7 to see whether these people are following rules or not, but anyone breaching any rules will be challaned.''

When I asked as to why people, who drink on the streets and in the Aahatas are not penalized, he pointed out that Aahata's are not open spaces and that people cannot be penalized by the excise department. Adding to it, he said, ''People should be responsible not to drink out of the bottle once they buy drinks from retail outlets. Also, bars and restaurants are license holders as well as these retail outlets. But we are not responsible for individual drinking on the roadside. It is the police's responsibility and the citizen's.''

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