New Act banning dance bars in 10 days

The Act will extend to star hotels as well

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: July 24, 2013 2:04:30 am

The state government plans to bring a new Act banning dance bars in the next 10 days. The Act,to be brought in the ongoing monsoon session of the state Assembly,will not spare star hotels.

Home Minister R R Patil is determined to enact the new legislation and get consent of the state Assembly and Council for it before the session ends on August 2.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Patil are already discussing the Act.

The government is also considering a rehabilitation package for bar girls looking for options in other equally rewarding but dignified professions.

Sources said legal experts in Delhi had advised the state to display authority of the executive over judiciary.

The 2005 Act banning dance bars for seven years was recently struck down by Supreme Court on merit. The government failed to justify different yardsticks for bars and star hotels. It also did not have an answer to the question of livelihood of bar girls.

The new Act,which is being supported by the opposition BJP,Shiv Sena,MNS and PWP,will remove these shortcomings.

State BJP president Devendra Fadnavis said,“In 2005-06,we cautioned the government against the failures. Several leaders in BJP and Sena asked it to seriously consider the aspect of discrimination.”

However,the government ignored our pleas.

A cabinet minister said,“Before the 2014 Assembly and Parliament elections,no party can afford to support dance bars. It is not a question of moral policing. It concerns thousands of families.”

Orchestra artists unhappy with SC order lifting ban

The Orchestra Artists Association on Tuesday lashed out against the Supreme Court’s order allowing dance bars to reopen,claiming it would render more than 12,000 orchestra artists jobless.

Orchestra artists started playing live music at bars after dance bars were banned in the state,Many dance bars became orchestra bars and employed singers,sound artists and instrument players. Bar girls became waitresses and would even stand around to collect tips from patrons.

Subhash Jadhav,president of the Association,said there are 12,600 orchestra artists working in more than 1,400 orchestra bars in Mumbai. Jadhav says the SC order threatens to take away their only means of earning a living.

“Orchestra artists get paid anything between Rs 500 and Rs 1000 per day. These artists have to pay rent,bills and support entire families. What will they do if orchestra bars go back to being dance bars? The girls will dance to recorded music and our artists will be jobless,” said Jadhav.

The Association’s stand is that although the order was passed keeping the livelihood of bar girls in mind,no thought was given to orchestra artists.

“Bar girls come from all over the country and even other countries. All 12,600 members of our association are from Mumbai and they now face unemployment in their own land. How is it fair?” questioned Jadhav.

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