Justice Delivered: Hotel Hayat Rabbani to Re-Open after Court Order

Some justice was delivered to Naeem Rabbani, owner of the Hotel Hayat Rabbani in Jaipur when the wheels of justice turned in his favour, first on April 29 and then again –when the authorities did not implement the first injunction—through a reiteration on May 23. The court has ordered the opening of the hotel that was coercively shut down due to mob vigilante violence on the late night of March 19.

Hotel hayat rabbani

Though a city court had ordered reopening of the Hotel Hayat Rabbani on April 29,  the civic body did not follow the order offering lame excuses. It moved the court seeking change or stay on the order, but the court on May 23 repeated the earlier order of April 29 and asked Nagar Nigam to open the hotel or face the contempt of court charge.

 The recent case of the Hotel Hayat Rabbani on Kanti Chandra Road, Jaipur City is a spectacle of the unnecessary havoc caused by the self-proclaimed cow vigilantes in the state of Rajasthan. On the unfortunate evening of March 19, 2017, Sadhvi Kamal Didi and her supporters, stormed the Hotel Hayat Rabbani and allegedly battered the staff in the lobby. The local police arrested two staff members of the hotel alleging that they were in possession of beef. An FIR was filed against the owner of the hotel Naeem Rabbani under S.295-A(act intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code.

The Court of J. Amarjit Singh, Additional Civil Magistrate & Metropolitan Magistrate, Jaipur City Civil Court, heard the suit filed by the hotel owner, Naeem Rabbani and passed a temporary injunction order in his favour on April 29, 2017. The Court asked the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) to unseal the hotel within seven days of the order.As per the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report submitted to the police, meat samples seized from the hotel were not beef. Instead they were of chicken as also earlier testified by Naeem Rabbani.

The order of the court delivered in Hindi may be read here.

Over a month had passed since the hotel had been sealed. On May 10, 2017, the hotel owner, Naeem Rabbani, served a notice to the civic body, asking it to unseal the hotel.An appeal was made by the JMC to the Additional District Judge, ADJ-10 and J.Bhupendra Singh disposed the appeal on May 23, 2017 by ruling in favour of the hotel and hotel owner. The JMC has been ordered to reopen the Hotel Hayat Rabbani at the earliest and not take any further action against the hotel. The Court is still deciding the damages to be awarded to the hotel.

A detailed reading of the Additional District Judge Court Order dated May 23, 2017 has brought to light certain pertinent facts about the case.

  • Hotel Hayat Rabbani is a lodging hotel and has no restaurant facility
  • The food cooked in its kitchen is only for its employees
  • The hotel has paid the taxes due for the financial year 2017
  • The hotel does not have a food licence, but has now applied for one
  • The hotel has a green licence
  • The cow vigilantes examined the garbage of the restaurant dumped at the Municipal dumping ground at 6 pm on 19 March, 2017
  • The cleaner of the restaurant, Kasim was allegedly assaulted on the road by the supporters of Sadhvi Kamal
  • The hotel guard was beaten up
  • The hotel kitchen was sealed around midnight
  • Guests staying in the 20 rooms of the hotel were immediately checked out
  • The hotel was sealed with a lock by the supporters of Sadhvi Kamal
  • No prior show cause notice was given to the hotel owner
  • The hotel owner was not given any chance to speak, he was not heard
  • The cow vigilantes are not allowed to conduct their activities at night yet they unlawfully did all this
  • The local police were called by an onlooker much after all the damage was done
  • The act of the cow vigilantes was unlawful in fact against natural law

Having recorded all these facts, the Court ordered the hotel be reopened.

As per statements made by the hotel owner Naeem Rabbani to the media, there were 5 or 6 people around 6 pm who beat up Kasim, all seemed to be strangers, outsiders. They kept chanting “Jai Gau Mata” all the way from the dump yard to the hotel. As the sky got darker, the number of people increased. Soon enough it became a mob of 80-100 people. They surrounded the hotel, sloganeering, violently protesting. There was no sign of the police, no sign of help. Just, vehement misuse of hegemonic power.
What else does an incident like this depict besides a Blitzkreig against a certain minority group.

In an India that speaks of liberty, equality and fraternity, how can such an act of physical assault and violence by one man on another be justified? How can a vicious and vehement mob be allowed to persist for so many hours (from 6 pm till midnight) without any intervention from the local police and authorities? Under the garb of protecting the mute animal are we hearing the reverberations of another jolt of communal violence? The Dadri lynching case, in September 2015 wasn’t the first of its kind, but India certainly hoped it would be the last. Sadly, even today, 2 years later, the torture continues. It’swell established that cows for certain communities in India are sacred, but the heinous acts of violence committed in the name of ‘Gauraksha’ are belittling their holiness. The executive seems to be doing nothing to stop these overt acts of injustice. Finally, the Jaipur City Court has provided some respite by ordering the JMC to reopen the hotel. The first step in the right direction has been taken but a lot more needs to be done. Bhakshaks such as Sadhvi Kamal Didi and the like should be punished for their criminal acts of violence, in the name of Raksha.

India needs to stand by its core constitutional mandate, be it from within unite the judiciary, the executive, the legislature all need to awaken to stop this alarming issue to ensure that India does not once again become witness to the carnage of majoritarian diktats and violence.

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