The Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association has approached the Bombay High Court claiming that food delivery apps Swiggy, Zomato and Dunzo are delivering food from illegal and unauthorised outlets which sprung up during COVID-19 pandemic [Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association & Anr. v. Municipal Corporation for Greater Mumbai (MCGM)].The plea filed through Advocate Aditya Chitale stated that members of petitioner-association had invested lot of money for running their restaurant businesses along with obtaining all mandatory licenses and complying with statutory rules from time to time.However, during the COVID-19 lockdown, new illegal unauthorised eating places sprung up across Mumbai and increased their business activities.During the pandemic ,when restaurants were shut for public and only delivery of food was permitted through the delivery companies, a substantial number of such allegedly illegal food outlets with their menus came up on the delivery company websites and mobile applications. The Association then wrote to the Executive Health Officer complaining about such illegally-operating eating houses. Accordingly, the officer shot notices to the delivery companies to stop the pick-up and delivery of food from the allegedly illegally-operating eating houses. The officer had issued 3 identical notices to senior inspectors of police of the Khar, Bandra and Santacruz police stations to initiate appropriate action under law..The petition pointed out the following grievances:That a majority of the vendors did not have appropriate licenses;The vendors operated from bare minimum spaces in the most unhygienic conditions;That despite pointing out the mishap to the civic authorities, no action has been taken;That the vehicles being utilized for food delivery are registered with the regional transport authorities for personal use, but are being utilised for commercial purposes..The petition has sought the following directions:To take appropriate action against the illegally operating eating houses for their failure to comply with the provisions of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act;To take appropriate action against the food delivery companies for offering services to the illegally operating eating houses who are operating without requisite licenses;To immediately register criminal proceedings against the officials of the food delivery companies and initiate a thorough probe; To prohibit illegal vendors from operating and encroaching the roadside areas from their functioning;To prohibit supply of LPG cylinders to the illegal vendors; To take action against the officials of the delivery companies for using non-commercial vehicles for commercial use..The plea will be heard on March 14, Monday by a bench of Justices AA Sayed and Abhay Ahuja.