Pune Bar Case: Part Of Pub Linked To Drug Use Demolished, Owners Booked

The Pune civic body has recently demolished an ‘unauthorized’ structure inside a bar linked to alleged drug use, while police filed a case against its owners, following a directive from the Maharashtra government to crack down on rule-flouting buildings in the city.

Case Insights

According to a Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) release, a 125 square meter unauthorized structure inside Liquid Leisure Lounge (L3) bar on Fergusson College Road was razed as part of a broader drive targeting over 20 establishments, including pubs, restaurants, and eateries, for violating norms. The action was prompted by revelations that internal changes had been made inside L3 in violation of regulations.

The pub gained notoriety after a viral video showed youths with drug-like substances at the facility.

Police reported that L3 was operating until 5 am on Sunday, selling liquor beyond the permissible time limit, as pubs in Pune are allowed to remain open only until 1.30 am.

In a related development, police registered a case on Tuesday against L3 owners Santosh Kamthe and Ravi Maheshwari under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act for allegedly constructing the unauthorized structure.

Officials from the PMC’s building department found that a bar counter had been constructed on the first floor without authorization. “PMC officials razed the unauthorized structure. Also, an offence under relevant sections of the MRTP Act was registered against the pub owners,” stated a police officer.

The PMC’s building department took action against more than 20 establishments, demolishing unauthorized structures totaling 36,845 square meters, according to the release. On Monday, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde spoke with Pune police commissioner Amitesh Kumar, directing him to initiate strict action against illegal pubs and demolish all structures flouting building rules in the city.

In connection with the L3 pub operating beyond permissible hours, police arrested eight persons, including an event organizer, and suspended four police personnel.

Additionally, the state excise department arrested half a dozen waiters from L3 for allegedly violating liquor-serving norms. Police also collected samples from the L3 toilets, sending them for examination to check for the presence of any narcotic substances.

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About the Author: Meera Verma