The government may rope in the Maharashtra Women Commission to ensure that dance bars comply with revised norms and guidelines included in the draft Bill to regulate them. An all-party legislative panel, which met on Thursday to review the bill, has recommended measures to avoid complaints of excesses by the police machinery and for effective implementation of the provisions.
Sources said members from the women commission and NGOs fighting for women’s rights may even be permitted to inspect dance bars. A detailed presentation of the proposed norms was made before the legislative panel on Thursday. Sources said that the government has plans to place the draft bill for approval before the legislative council when proceedings of the legislature resume on April 11. It would then be tabled in the lower house. After the presentation, members of the panel were instructed to submit suggestions by Monday. Under the proposed guidelines, dance bar owners may find it difficult to restart the trade, with the government increasing the number of compliances to 37 from the existing 26. Besides this, go-aheads by the fire brigade and the theatre censor board would also be needed.
Other conditions include ensuring customers are over 21 years of age, banning any kind of narcotics and alcohol near the performance stage and banning smoking on the stage. Owners would have to preserve footage of performances for 30 days. The government has also put the onus on bar owners to ensure the dances are not obscene in any manner.