Curry house faces £30,000 fine threat

Support for the Gate of India EMN-140630-134558001
Support for the Gate of India EMN-140630-134558001

Market Rasen’s popular Gate of India curry house has won back its premises license, despite it previously employing illegal workers.

West Lindsey District Council awarded the license saying it had “no grounds” to refuse the new applicant, Mohammed Jillul Haque.

Previously, the licence, which allows the sale of alcohol and food after 11pm, was revoked after the restaurant in King Street was found to be employing illegal workers.

Council leader Irmgard Parrott, who chaired Friday’s meeting of the Licensing Sub-committee, told the Rasen Mail: “It’s a completely new license with new applicants. There was no reason you could refuse it because it’s a new license. The old people will have nothing to do with it,” she said.

Mr Haque was unavailable for comment, but a staff member confirmed the receipt of the new license.

“We are happy and delighted. We can continue to support our customers,” he said.

After the revocation of the old premises licence raised the prospect of closure, customers pleaded with the council to let the restaurant stay open.

But despite this victory, the Gate of India potentially faces a fine of up to £30,000 concerning the April raid, when the licence holder was Sanu Meah.

A Home Office spokesperson said during the April 24 raid, three men were found to be working illegally at the business and arrested.

“One, a 38-year-old Indian man who had overstayed his visa, has been removed from the UK. The other two men were Bangladeshi nationals – one, aged 30, had overstayed his visa, and the other, aged 46, had entered the country illegally. Both were ordered to report to the Home Office regularly while work continues to remove them from the UK,” said a statement.

“At the time of the operation, Gate of India Restaurant was served with a notice warning that they may be liable for a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker arrested. Investigations are continuing.”

The raid follows a similar one at the Wania Indian Restaurant in Horncastle, which found a 25-year-old Bangladeshi man working illegally on June 17.

Since the Home Office doubled such fines in May, the Wania has been warned it faces a fine of up to £20,000.