Mumbai | Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said the state government would press its demand in the Supreme Court for continuing a ban on dance performances at bars and other places. His reaction came in the wake of the decision of the apex court to stay the operation of 2014 amendment in the Maharashtra Police Act that had banned dance performances at these places.
The order paves the way for reopening of dance bars across the state. The SC has, however, added a rider to its interim order and allowed the licensing authorities in the state to regulate indecent dance performances at bars and other places. Although the Supreme Court’s interim order mandates regulation instead of ban on dance bars, the (state) government still favours a ban, Fadnavis said reacting to the apex court order.
We will examine and press our demand in the Supreme Court, the CM said. The apex court has now fixed the petition filed by Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association for final hearing on November 5 and said that the matter pertaining to the similar issue had already been decided by this court in 2013. The state Assembly had in 2014 passed the law to ban dance bars without a debate, after the top court had quashed an earlier law banning dance performances in bars the year before.
Restaurant owners had challenged the law saying many of its members would be forced into prostitution if the state refused to allow dance performances. The state police had cracked down on dance performances in bars for the first time in 2005. Elite establishments, including five star hotels, were, however, exempted. Thereafter, the state brought in a law banning dance performances in all establishments.