M A I N   N E W S

Cabinet nod to ban dance bars, ordinance soon

Mumbai, May 18
The Maharashtra Government today finally decided to impose a statewide ban on dance bars, with the Cabinet giving its approval for promulgation of an ordinance.

The final text of the ordinance would be decided in the next week’s Cabinet meeting and it would then be sent to Governor S.M. Krishna for promulgation, Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil, who also holds the Home portfolio, told reporters after a weekly Cabinet meeting here this evening.

The ordinance pertains to amending Section 33 of the Bombay Police Act to enable cancellation of licences of dance bars, he said, adding that dances would be prohibited at hotel establishments with food and liquor permits and the current performance permits/licences would be scrapped.

The government was leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the decision to shut down the dance bars stood valid in the eyes of the law, Mr Patil said. “We have examined the draft ordinance from all legal aspects and the final stamp of approval will be given in the next week’s Cabinet meeting”.

Replying to questions, the Deputy Chief Minister said the entire Cabinet, all political parties and most importantly the state legislature was firm in supporting the decision to ban dance bars.

“This has not been my decision alone,” Mr Patil, who made the announcement to this effect first in the Legislative Assembly during the Budget session, said.

He said the government was ready for a legal battle if the dance bar associations moved court.

Asked about the provisions of the ordinance and the issue of rehabilitation of bar girls, he said the details would be announced next week.

Though the government had announced its decision to ban the dance bars, no order had been issued to that effect as dance bar girls had approached Congress President Sonia Gandhi and also moved the National Commission for Women and the National Human Rights Commission, demanding their rehabilitation.

The government had first announced ban on dance bars outside Mumbai in March and later extended it to the entire state despite opposition from the Bar Owners Association. — UNI


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