State considers new law to keep dance bar doors shut

State Home Minister R R Patil said Monday the government was considering various options,including a new law,to ensure dance bars do not reopen.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: April 9, 2014 4:10 pm

State Home Minister R R Patil said Monday the government was considering various options,including a new law,to ensure dance bars do not reopen.

“There are three possibilities. The first and foremost is to file a review petition in Supreme Court (SC). Second,we are looking at exercising executive authority. Third,bring a new Act,” he told the media.

Patil said the criticism of the government legal position was unjustified.

“The draft of Bombay Police (Amendment) Bill 2005 was referred to legal luminaries and discussed at length in both the Assembly and Council,” he said.

The amended Act was notified in August 2005.

Patil said the ban on dance bars was necessary. “It is not moral policing but a demand from various quarters concerned about socio-economic ramifications.”

The government will first ascertain where it fell short in bringing the amendment.

“We are roping in Delhi legal experts to study this. We have been guided on how to proceed. I will not like to disclose details at this moment,” Patil said.

He also dismissed the argument that the government was discriminating between five-star and other hotels.

“I revisited the issue and found that dance bar licences were issued to six-seven 5-star hotels but none used them,” Patil said.The home department claimed the 5-star hotels sought the licences for occasions such as New Year.

A three-member government committee is debating if the state can exercise executive authority to get around the SC decision. The law and judiciary department is also being consulted.

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