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Centre wants 2015 notification on licensing of theatres to be withdrawn: Delhi LG to HC

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The office of the (LG) on Wednesday told the High Court that the Centre has instructed it to withdraw a notification issued in 2015 by which licences to cinema halls were to be granted by deputy commissioners of revenue department and not the police.

The matter assumes importance for two reason. Firstly, it pertains to the tussle between the LG and the ruling dispensation in with regard to administrative control of the national capital. Secondly, under the notification licences were to be granted by the deputy commissioners on the recommendation of a nodal agency and not by the licensing department of Police.

In an affidavit placed before a bench of and Justice V K Rao, the office of LG has said that the (MHA) had sent a letter on January 1, 2019 asking it to withdraw the notification, which was issued in 2015 and challenged in the high court by an association representing cinema hall owners in the national capital.

The affidavit also said the MHA's decision was communicated by the LG's office to the of Delhi on January 9, 2019 to take necessary action.

The letter dated January 1, 2019, issued to the LG's office by the MHA said the ministry after obtaining the legal opinion of two senior has decided that the notification of January 9, 2015 be withdrawn.

The Delhi government, represented by its Additional Standing Gautam Narayan, said it will be filing an affidavit on the issue as soon as it is cleared by its

The court, thereafter, allowed all the parties, including (AVUT), to file their response to the affidavit filed by the LG's office and listed the matter for further hearing on April 12.

AVUT, represented by Vikas Pahwa, said withdrawal of the notification was contrary to the law.

The association's said on the sidelines that under the notification the licence would be issued only on the recommendation of the nodal agency which would have one person each from the police, fire services, municipal corporation and other concerned authorities and therefore, there would be no need for obtaining individual clearances from each of these statutory bodies.

The Centre had earlier told the court that since Delhi was a Union Territory (UT) akin to a presidency town, the licensing powers here be vested with the police as per the Cinematograph Act.

The association challenged the notification after both the revenue department and the sent letters to the cinema hall owners, informing that they would be carrying out inspections of the theatres.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 13 2019. 19:05 IST