“There were people dressed up in wedding clothes"
An illegal wedding was busted by police at an award-winning Indian restaurant in Bolton. More than 40 guests had attended the wedding.
Police were called to Hot Chilli on Dunscar Business Park following reports of a large gathering on the afternoon of February 21, 2021.
The event, which was held just off Blackburn Road, was quickly broken up and 37 fixed penalty notices were issued to guests.
Under the current Covid-19 rules, weddings can only take place in exceptional circumstances and must have up to six people.
One witness said: “There were three big police vans outside Hot Chilli on Sunday afternoon.
“I have a unit on that industrial estate and the car park was very busy.
“There were people dressed up in wedding clothes, and bridesmaids with flowers standing on the streets outside the restaurant.”
The Hot Chilli is an award-winning restaurant, having been named the National Champion of Champions at the Asian Restaurant and Takeaway Awards in 2019.
A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said:
“At around 2:35 pm on Sunday, February 21, police were called to a report of a large gathering at a premises on Blackburn Road, Bolton.
“Officers arrived and dispersed a group of around 40-50 people who were attending an organised wedding function.
“The wedding function was dispersed, and 37 fixed penalty notices have been issued.
“Enquiries are ongoing to locate the organiser, and further enforcement action is likely to follow.”
A spokesperson for the restaurant confirmed that there was a private function held there on Sunday.
However, he said it was only supposed to be for six people from the same household.
He added: “The organisers informed us on the day of the event it was in fact, a wedding but claimed to have exceptional circumstances which they did not discuss in detail.
“We had already paid for extra supplies and requested extra workers to be in attendance.
“In consideration of these business expenses, we regretfully agreed to serve their small gathering.”
The Bolton News reported that venue bosses said they informed police about the size of the gathering crew.
The spokesperson continued: “We are fully cooperating with law enforcement and Bolton Council to assist with any enquiries.
“We have no intention of allowing people to gather in our premises during lockdown under any circumstances in future.
“The restaurant is limited to takeaway and delivery under national lockdown guidelines and will remain so until we receive further updates.”