Maharashtra govt to bring ordinance on banning dance bars: RR Patil

Mumbai, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 02 August 2013, 03:10 PM

The Maharashtra government will bring an ordinance on banning dance bars in the state, home minister RR Patil said in the legislative assembly on Friday.

The Supreme Court had on July 16 upheld a Bombay High Court verdict quashing the state government's order on banning dance bars.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice S S Nijjar had also vacated its stay order on implementation of the high court judgement.

However, soon after the SC's verdict on July 16, state government had challenged APEX court's order.

The Maharashtra government had in 2005 brought in an amendment in the Bombay Police Act which was challenged in the high court by an association representing restaurants and bars.

The high court in 2006 had quashed the government's decision. The state government had moved the apex court against the high court's order that same year.

The Supreme Court while admitting the government's plea had stayed the high court's verdict.

In its plea, the state government had contended that prostitution rackets were being run under the garb of beer bars and indecent and vulgar performances, "derogatory to the society" were taking place.

The government had also contended that while there were only 345 licenced dance bars, about 2500 unlicenced bars were doing business in the state.

On the other hand, various organisations representing dance bars, restaurants and bar girls had argued that the preamble of the Bombay Police (Amendment) Act, 2005, which had been struck down by the high court as unconstitutional, holds that dance performances for public amusement were permissible.

These organisations had also submitted that there were over 70,000 women engaged in dance bars and several of them had already committed suicide due to unemployment and financial crunch.

They had said that with as many as 72 per cent of the bar girls being married and 68 per cent being sole bread earners of their family, the state government's order has rendered them jobless and had been rightly struck down as arbitrary and unconstitutional by the high court.

They had also contended that the impugned section of the Act was arbitrary and discriminatory as it permitted dance performances at places visited by the rich and well-to-do sections of the society while performances in small dance bars had been banned.

First Published: Friday, August 02, 2013 03:08 PM
Post Comment (+)