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Maha assembly passes bill to ban dance bars in state

The Maharashtra government has unanimously passed a new amended bill to ban dance bars in Mumbai and across the state on Friday in both the houses.

The new amended bill was passed by the state cabinet yesterday and was presented during the monsoon session of the state legislature for its approval to make it law.

 Maha assembly passes bill to ban dance bars in state

Representational image. Reuters

According to the new bill, dance performances at three-star and higher-standard hotels will be banned, which were exempted earlier. Also, dance performances will be banned in eateries, permit rooms and beer bars. For its violation, a punishment up to three years of imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh has also been proposed.

Following the Supreme Court judgement, the state cabinet decided to formulate a sub-committee of group of ministers to tackle the issue of dance bars in consultation with the group leader of political parties, said RR Patil, home minister, who tabled the bill before the legislative assembly and council on Friday.

He added that considering various factors such as right guaranteed under article 19(1) (g) of Constitution of India read with clause (6), dignity of women for profiteering, maintenance of public order and in larger interest recommended the provisions prohibiting performance of dance in state.

In 2005, in a controversial decision, dance performances in bars in the state were banned, but performances at three-star and higher-standard hotels were exempted. The ban, enforced by the state government in August 2005, was struck down by the Bombay High Court in 2006, but the state government had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.

The government could not defend this discrimination when the ban was challenged before the court. The apex court upheld the Bombay High Court's ruling that the ban violated the constitutional right to earn a living. The Supreme Court last year ruled that bar dancers can resume working after bars get back their licenses for performances.

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Updated Date: Jun 13, 2014 22:40:57 IST