Maharashtra Government To Abide By SC Rule On Dance Bars

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Mumbai: Hailing the Supreme Court’s recent remarks on dance bars, Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has said that the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government in the state would adhere by the ruling.

Mungantiwar said, “We will follow the Supreme Court’s orders in the case of dance bars. SC is supreme.”

Facing the media, Mungantiwar spoke on several other important issues related both to the BJP and the government it runs in Maharashtra under the leadership of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

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The Supreme Court had on Monday, during the hearing on a petition challenging dance bars on grounds of obscenity, had said it is better to dance than beg on the streets.

The Supreme Court also pulled up the Maharashtra Government for framing rules that prohibit opening of dance bars within a distance of one kilometer from educational institutions.

The apex court said that this condition of the state government amounts to ‘prohibition’.

“Dance is professional, if it obscene then it loses its legal sanctity. Therefore, the government’s measures can’t be prohibitory,” the court told the state government.

The Maharashtra Government told the apex court that the rule would be revised.

The Maharashtra Assembly had on April 12 unanimously passed the Dance Bar Regulation Bill, which has provisions for stringent actions against the violators.

The new bill fixes accountability on the owner in case of violation of rules, exploitation of women employees, or in cases of obscenity.

Owners or operators face up to up to five years in jail and fines of up to Rs. 25,000 for violations. Separate rules are being formulated on this, based on the provisions of the Bill.

According to the new conditions, dance bars must be at least a kilometer from any education or religious institution, their timings restricted between 6 p.m. and 11.30 p.m., and liquor not to be served in the performance area.