SC Issues Notice to Maharashtra on Dance bar Regulations

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MUMBAI: A notice was issued to Maharashtra Government by The Supreme Court today on a petition challenging fresh regulations to run dance bars and stated that the rules will be examined on the basis of the 2013 verdict. The Dance Bar Regulation Bill was passed unanimously by the Maharashtra Assembly on April 12 that has provisions for stringent actions against the violators. The apex court objected to Maharashtra Government’s decision to ban serving of alcohol near dance floor and for installing CCTV camera inside the dance bars. The dance bar owners had petitioned the apex court saying that in spite of the ruling, procuring licenses has been a problem. Maharashtra Government had earlier opposed the petition filed by dance bar owners, saying that state has the right to lay down policy and guidelines. The Government also wanted dancers to be employed by bar owners on a contract basis. The new bill fixes accountability on the owner in case of violation of rules, exploitation of women employees, or in cases of obscenity. Owners or operators face up to up to five years in jail and fines of up to Rs. 25,000 for violations. Separate rules are being formulated on this, based on the provisions of the Bill. Dance bars must be at least a kilometer away from any education or religious institution, their timings restricted between 6 PM and 11.30 PM, and liquor not to be served in the performance area, according to the new conditions.

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