Photo taken on June 17, 2020 shows a restaurant displaying an "open" sign in Washington D.C., the United States.
Photo taken on June 17, 2020 shows a restaurant displaying an "open" sign in Washington D.C., the United States.
(Xinhua/Liu Jie)

The Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association has moved the Bombay High Court, seeking rebate of their license fees paid to the state Excise Department. The association has claimed that since none of the hotels are operating across Maharashtra, they must be allowed not to pay the fees at one go.

A bench of Justices Prasanna Varale and Surendra Tavade would be hearing their plea on Tuesday morning.

The plea, filed through advocate Veena Thadani, seeks rebate of the fees. "Our contention is that our hotels have not been functional ever since the lockdown was declared in March. From then on, we have had no business, as we were barred from normal functioning in view of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown," said Thadani.

"Since there has been no business, most of my clients are not in a position to pay the license fees. But they have already paid it for the months prior to the lockdown announcement. Thus, we want a rebate or at least an extension allowing us to pay the license fees later," Thadani added.

According to Thadani, the hoteliers are facing the heat due to the lockdown. "Many have no money to even purchase stock and sell it. They don't have resources as on date. Thus, we seek either rebate or an extension," she said.

The Excise Department has primarily opposed their request and has suggested they pay the fees in installments.

The bench led by Justice Varale would be dealing with the matter on Tuesday morning.

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