Bar brawl over ‘GST in liquor bill’ lands patrons in hospital


KOLKATA: Three patrons of a bar in Kidderpore alleged that they were assaulted by the bar management and its bouncers after they demanded a “complete bill” that factored in the GST amount. The incident was reported between 10.30pm and 11pm on Sunday. The bar management, however, maintained that the victims were actually fabricating a story after they tried to slip away without paying their bill. Generally, the bill for alcohol only factors in the price quoted in the menu. There is no provision for factoring in GST.

According to Watgunge police, complainant Sunil Talreza, 57, a resident of Vidyasagar Sarani, alleged that on January 1, he had been to the bar on CGR Road with two friends. Around 10.30pm, they were assaulted by the owner and other persons of the bar after an altercation about their demand to see an “original bill factoring in the GST”.

“The victims alleged that while they were physically restrained, the bouncers hit them on the head. All of them had to be admitted to SSKM Hospital where their medico-legal case was prepared by doctors. They were eventually discharged after a few hours. The Watgunge police have registered a case under IPC sections pertaining to wrongful restraint and voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means on Monday,” said an officer.

Police sources confirmed that the CCTV footage of the incident has been preserved and will be analyzed to ascertain the sequence of events. “We will record the statement of the victims and some waiters at the earliest. We would appreciate if other patrons, visible in the CCTV footage, step forward and narrate what they saw,” said a police source.

Talking to TOI, Nikhil Ghosh, a manager at the pub, said they were about to serve their customers the last drinks around 10.30pm, when the three customers asked for their bill. The moment they saw the amount — around Rs 2,000 — they objected. “They first asked for a GST bill and when we told them we are not covered by it, the accused began to create trouble for other patrons too. They even broke glasses and alcohol bottles. It was then that our security personnel restrained them. The trio was asked to pay up and then ushered out. No one was involved in any kind of assault. We hope the CCTV footage will clear the air,” said Ghosh.

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