NCP alleges that 'nexus between Maharashtra govt and dance bar owners' led to SC order allowing their reopening

Mumbai: The NCP on Thursday alleged that the nexus between the Maharashtra government and dance bar owners has led to the Supreme Court verdict that paves the way for reopening of dance bars in the state. The party also said it would ensure that the ban on dance bars returns when it comes to power in the state.

File image of Nawab Malik. Image courtesy: Twitter/@nawabmalikncp

File image of Nawab Malik. Image courtesy: Twitter/@nawabmalikncp

The apex court on Thursday paved the way for reopening of dance bars in Maharashtra by setting aside some provisions of a 2016 law imposing restrictions on their licensing and functioning. The NCP alleged that meetings were held between Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the association of bar owners at the former's official residence 'Varsha', which led to the "weakening" of the government's position on the issue before the apex court. The party, however, did not specify when the meeting took place.

NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik claimed that another meeting was held at Mayor's Bungalow (in Dadar) two-and-a-half years ago on the same issue between some BJP leaders and representatives of bar owners."Though the court has given this decision, it is the nexus of the BJP leaders, the chief minister and bar owners' association, which has led to the order," Malik told reporters in Mumbai.

"We will go to the people with this issue and we will again ban dance bars after our party comes to power," he said. His party colleague and Leader of Opposition in the State Legislative Council, Dhananjay Munde, asked the state government to take immediate legal steps to ensure that dance bars do not start operating in the state once again. "The government has once again fallen short in presenting its side on dance bar ban before the court.

Concerned about the effects of the decision in future. The government should immediately take legal steps to see dance bars do not start operating again," Munde said on Twitter, tagging the Chief Minister's office in the post. Chitra Wagh, women's wing head of the NCP, termed the decision as "unfortunate" and one which "cannot be welcomed". "Had the government presented its side properly, the court would not have given this decision, which is not in the interest of the society. There is a need to think of the families ruined by dance bars," she added.

The apex court quashed the provisions of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016, like the mandatory installations of CCTV cameras in the dance bars saying they violated privacy. The bench, however, upheld the provision restricting the timing of operation of dance bars from 6 pm to 11.30 pm.

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Updated Date: Jan 17, 2019 21:23:01 IST

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