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Dance bars to open again in Maharashtra

India TV News Desk 03 Jun 2014, 8:22:06 AM IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: Dance bars can open again in the state. In a major blow to home minister RR Patil, the state cabinet on Monday decided not to bring any ordinance which will impose a ban on these bars.

Bar owners had in the Bombay high court challenged the ban imposed by Patil on dance bars in 2005. The court ruled in their favour after which the government approached the Supreme Court. The apex court upheld the Bombay high court order.

The cabinet's decision is another victory for dance bar owners. Vijay Shetty, owner of Monica dance bar in Ghatkopar and former secretary of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants, said: "We welcome the government's decision which was long-pending. This means acche din aa gaye hain."

In 2005, in a controversial decision, dance performances in the bars in the state were banned, but performances at three-star and higher-standard hotels were exempted. The government could not defend this discrimination when the ban was challenged before the court.

The Supreme Court last year ruled that the bar dancers can resume working after bars get back their licenses for performances. The apex court upheld the Bombay High Court's ruling that the ban violated the constitutional right to earn a living.

Today, the cabinet decided that ministers in charge of Excise, Home and Parliamentary Affairs departments will review the Act and consult group leaders in the state legislature with a view of amend the legislation and remove the lacuna.

Interestingly, sources said, Industries Minister Narayan Rane argued that any such ban cannot be legally sustainable, and will hurt the tourism.

He left the meeting following an argument with the Home Minister RR Patil of NCP; the ban is believed to be Patil's brainchild.

Rane had not attended previous two cabinet meetings after the Lok Sabha election results. His son, Nilesh Rane, lost the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seat to Shiv Sena.