• Bribe Fighter
  • 5 months ago
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Police Harassment for running legitimate business

Reported on July 05, 2017 from Bangalore , Karnataka  ι Report #166045

Hi,

My name is Imran, I come from a normal middle class family, I decided to start a snooker and pool recreation hall (Handy's) as a part of providing some income to my retired father as he was in private jobs all his life and had no pension coming in now. After saving up for last few years I started this business as it is easy to run by retired professionals and does not involve much effort other than basic administration. On 15-06-2017 I got a visit from a police constable Mahesh from Banaswadi police station asking us to come to the station with all our licence and member documentation and meet Inspector Muniraju. As required by law we went to the police station and showed them all our documents which were in order, he asked us to hand over photo copies of these documents to his assistant (Constable Mahesh) while I got the photo copies this constable started discussing BRIBE with my father. he said if we had to run a snooker parlour in Kammanahalli(Bangalore) we will have to pay Rs 30000 monthly to them(Police). We told him that we had just started the business 3 months ago and it has not yet reached break even point so we cannot factor in this expense. In our discussion we understood that other snooker clubs in the area are being allowed to run in the night until 2AM in the night and after paying the cops these clubs are allowing gambling which is why the cops are demanding so much money. I explained to him that this business was only setup as to provide my Dad with some income as he is retired and we have no intention of either running the club beyond legal hours which is 11:00 pm or allowing any sort of gambling in our place. To which we received a response that he doesn't care what we do here we just have to start paying them also demanded that we pay him arrears for last months. I told him that if he demanded money we will not be able to pay him and handed him keys to my place and asked him to shut it down himself. Mahesh refused and asked us to take two days to think about this and said final amount that he can accept is Rs 12000.00 per month and not below that and that we will have to cough up arrears for last two months as well. At the end of this meeting he didn't even collect the photo copies of the documents which he asked in the first place. This entire meeting happened during the month of Ramadan, this upset my father who was fasting had a rise in BP and his tension rose he told me that he has never had to deal with any such thing in his career and this is not something he can handle. I asked my dad not to take any tension and we will find a way to deal with this after Ramadan. Before I started this business I have done my research and have found a Karnataka High Court judgement dated 22-Nov-2012(WP39529-12-22-11-2012)clearly states that the games of snooker, pool and Billiards are games of skill and have asked police not to interfere running such establishments, the only requirement of the law is such places nned to have a CCTV which the police can check to see if any gambling is being allowed. There is also another High Court judgement(WP-10916 - 13-03-2014) which also stated the same thing. We have the required registration and also have CCTV Installed which in line with requirement. On 29-06-2017 my dad again received a call from Constable Mahesh started threatening us ths time. We told him to come and check our parlour and see there is literally very low business happening and there is nothing unlawful happening to which he said he will not enter our premise (as he had already seen CCTV installed when he visited the first time. He did not want to show up on the recording). He has threatened that he will ensure our premise is shut down if we do not pay him soon, to which my father who had a little strength(after I showed him previous high court orders) told him to do whatever he wants. I would request you to please notify the right authorities about this harassment as my father is old and he will not be able to cope up with this for long. I wanted this establishment to be a peaceful source of income for him but the threats are wearing him out. If at any point during this report you felt that I was in two minds to pay the cops it is true I was thinking that I will pay them something and be done with this tension, because when we spoke about this to other fellow owners of other establishments they have said we should pay the cops as they will resort to dirty tricks such as sending small petty offender's to our premise and then destroying property or starting fights with other customers and then they will file a complaint against us that in our premise petty fights are occurring and will shut us down. But I have decided now that I will take this fight to the end as succumbing to such pressures will lead to increase in such harrasements to others.The police also told my father that the premise had to be closed down at 8.00pm as per some law (we are not aware of any such law), We have asked them to provide this in writing and they have said they cannot provide us any such thing. The cops in this area are known to have taken bribe from a lot of establishments and restaurants in this area and are allowing them to be open until 1-2 am at night. I hope that this report will be sent to the right authorities and appropriate solution is provided.

I thank everybody concerned for taking the time out and reading this.

Imran Shariff

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