Commenting on the Supreme Court verdict paving the way for reopening of dance bars in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena said Thursday that the government failed to make the law regulating dance bars foolproof.
Senior Sena leader Anil Parab said it was unfortunate that the apex court did not uphold the Bombay High Court’s ruling, as the objective behind the 2016 law was noble.
Sena is a partner in the BJP-led government in the state.
“Why did the SC make amendments to provisions of the law? Was it because these provisions were unconstitutional or because we (the state government) did not present our side effectively?” asked Parab, a member of the state legislative council.
When the dance bar bill was placed before the state legislature, the Sena had made it clear that it should stand judicial scrutiny, Parab said.
“Not making the bill foolproof is a failure of the government,” he added.
Interestingly, while Parab found fault with the government, Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe slammed Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik for his claim that there was a nexus between the government and the dance bar owners.
Representatives of all the parties were present when the draft of the bill was being prepared, she said.
“Three meetings were conducted and (NCP leaders) Ajit Pawar, Dhananjay Munde were present. How can the NCP now make such absurd allegations when they were part of the law-making process?” she asked.
Malik, NCP’s national spokesperson, had alleged that “a nexus of BJP leaders, the chief minister and bar owners’ association” was responsible for the government losing the case in the Supreme Court.
Stating that there can be a regulation but not a total prohibition, the Supreme Court Thursday set aside certain provisions of a 2016 law imposing restrictions on dance bars.
The court quashed some provisions of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, such as mandatory installation of CCTV cameras.