Cyber cafes go to High Court against govt licence norms

With the city police not heeding their demand of dropping some clauses in the norms set up for issuing license for cyber cafés, the Pune Central Cyber Café Association, fearing action, has filed a writ petition with the Bombay High Court challenging the norms set up by the state government for issuing licenses for the business while seeking the unwanted clauses.

"A few of the clauses in the norms set up by the state government for seeking licences for cyber cafés are unnecessary and creating problems in running the business," Association President Rahul Pokale pointed out at a press conference. He said that the police have warned of action against the cyber cafés after the Ganesh festival for not possessing the licenses for it despite it being pointed out that some of the clauses are causing obstacles to obtaining of licences.

The clause of seeking a 'no objection certificate' from the Pune Municipal Corporation's (PMC) Health Department is unjustifiable as cyber cafés are not eating joints, Pokale said. He added that the clause requiring submission of building plans for cyber cafés does not hold significance as documents are not available with the civic administration for old buildings.

The provision of sufficient parking for visitors at cyber cafés — in accordance with the development control rules for commercial establishments — is not justifiable, he said. There are over 1,000 cyber cafés in the city and only one of them has been able to get a license from the police department.

The police check on cyber cafés comes after the increasing number of cyber crimes and alleged used of cyber cafés by anti-social elements.

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