The Barkeepers & Operators Association (BOATT) says it has consulted former attorney general Anand Ramlogan and will issue a pre action-protocol letter to the Attorney General seeking to return to regular operating hours.
In a statement on Saturday, the association’s president, Teron Mohan, said the bar industry employs over 20,000 people.
“(And) the reality of limiting the operating hours has tremendous implications for persons employed in our industry as this will result in more continued unemployment,” said Mohan.
“BOATT has been left with no option other than legal action because attempts to engage the government in consultation have been met with no response."
Mohan said after seeking a legal opinion from Ramlogan, they were advised they can challenge the covid19 regulations which currently restrict opening hours from 8 am-8 pm. Bar owners can be charged for staying open past 8 pm. Bars were previously allowed to open until 10 pm, but reports of crowding and no social distancing there moved the Prime Minister to first warn them to make changes or face shutdown. Last Monday, Government revised the closing hour to 8 pm.
The claim is being made is that “the proper legal procedure was not followed because the regulations were neither approved (nor) passed by Parliament and they have eroded the sacred fundamental rights of citizens in a disproportionate manner will be stronger and more acceptable.”