Maharashtra Govt. to explore options to stop restarting of dance bars

Mumbai, Nov.26 (ANI): After the Supreme Court’s order to issue fresh licenses to the dance bars, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devandra Fadnavis on Thursday said that the government would explore all legal options including legislative intervention as they are principally against opening of dance bars in the state.

“We respect the SC order. However, we’re principally against opening of dance bars. Will explore all legal options, including legislative intervention,” he said in a tweet.

An apex court bench of Justices Dipak Misra and P C Pant had today said that the Maharashtra Government must start issuing fresh licences to dance bars in two weeks time, while expressing disappointment that the state was yet to implement its earlier order.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, who appeared on behalf of the Maharashtra Government, however, said that the direction of the apex court will be respected and adhered to.

The Maharashtra Government had amended the 2005 Bombay Police Act, which was challenged in the High Court by the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association.

The Bombay High Court had on April 12, 2006, quashed the government’s decision and declared the provision unconstitutional, saying it was against Article 19(1)(g) (to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business) of the Constitution.

The state government had moved the apex court against the High Court’s order the same year.

On July 16, 2013, the Supreme Court had upheld the Bombay High Court verdict quashing the state government’s order and said the ban violated the constitutional right to earn a living.

The state assembly had on June 13 last year passed the Maharashtra Police (second amendment) Bill, which prevented licenses for dance performances in three-star and five-star hotels.

The ban also covered drama theatres, cinema halls, auditoriums, sports clubs and gymkhanas, where entry is restricted only to members. (ANI)

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