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Delhi Restaurant That “Denied Entry for Wearing Saree” Told To Shut Over Licence

Aquila was told to shut shop by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation for operating with an invalid licence.

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4 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Aquila restaurant has been asked to shut for operating using an invalid licence.</p></div>
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Aquila Restaurant, located in Delhi, recently made the headlines after a woman accused them of denying her entry "because she was wearing a saree" and not a "smart outfit." After a response from the restaurant too, alleging that all of the claims were false, Aquila has found itself in troubled waters yet again.

In an notice issued by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, the restaurant has been directed to close within 48 hours. "The public health inspector again inspected the site on September 24 and found that the trade is running under the same condition. You are directed to close the trade within 48 hours of the receipt of this notice failing which suitable action including sealing will be taken without assigning further notice," it read.

The owner has responded to the notice and obliged with the same. "I have closed-down the above said trade immediately and 1 shall not run the same trade without SDMC Trade Licence under insanitary condition from health point of view and create nuisance," read a response from the owner.

Here's what happened regarding the "smart outfits" and the "saree not being a smart outfit" controversy that Aquila found itself caught up in a few weeks ago:

A woman was recently denied entry to Delhi's Aquila restaurant for wearing a saree. Apparently, she wasn't dressed smart and the eatery only allowed people with good clothes or 'smart casuals' to dine.

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A video of the incident has gone viral where the management of the restaurant is forbidding the woman from entering on account of her saree. Twitter has slammed the restaurant for its policy and accused it of looking down upon Indian traditional clothes in favour of western clothes.

The video has been posted online with the caption, "Saree is not allowed in Aquila restaurant as Indian saree is now not a smart outfit. What is the concrete definition of smart outfit plz tell me. Please define smart outfit so I will stop wearing saree #sareelove."

Watch the video here:

Since this incident, #saree and #sareelove have been trending on Twitter and many other women have continued to show their support.

Delhi Restaurant That “Denied Entry for Wearing Saree” Told To Shut Over Licence

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Delhi Restaurant That “Denied Entry for Wearing Saree” Told To Shut Over Licence

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Delhi Restaurant That “Denied Entry for Wearing Saree” Told To Shut Over Licence

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Delhi Restaurant That “Denied Entry for Wearing Saree” Told To Shut Over Licence

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Delhi Restaurant That “Denied Entry for Wearing Saree” Told To Shut Over Licence

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Delhi Restaurant That “Denied Entry for Wearing Saree” Told To Shut Over Licence

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Delhi Restaurant That “Denied Entry for Wearing Saree” Told To Shut Over Licence

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

A lot of users have reiterated how sarees are some of the most elegant outfits out there, and how prohibiting them because they are traditional is discriminatory. However, as the controversy blew up, Aquila responded with its own statement through an Instagram post and also shared a video where the guest is seen abusing the staff members.

The statement reads: "The guest entered the restaurant and began to fight and abuse our staff. What unfolded after was beyond our imagination, with the guest slapping our manager as you can see in the CCTV video footage attached in our post above."


"To tackle the situation and request the guest to leave, one of our gate managers made a statement on sarees not being a part of our smart casual dress code and our whole team apologies for the same," it further says.

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The statement ended with "While we have all the right to take grated steps for the violence by the guest against our staff, we have chose to maintain peace so far but in accordance with our policy of maintaining transparency with our stakeholders we are now issuing this statement," along with the videos of the guest hitting the staff member and the other video showing how other guests entered the restaurant in sarees comfortably.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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