SC gives state 2 weeks to act on dance bar li­cences

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - HT Cor­re­spon­dents ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI/MUM­BAI: The Supreme Court on Thurs­day gave the Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment two weeks to de­cide on the ap­pli­ca­tions for li­cences to run dance bars in Mum­bai. The SC pulled up the state for not com­ply­ing with its Oc­to­ber or­der, in which it had stayed the op­er­a­tion of pro­vi­sion of the Ma­ha­rash­tra Po­lice Act, which pro­hib­ited dance per­for­mances at eat­ing places, beer bars and restau­rants.

The or­der had paved the way for re-open­ing of the dance bars, which were forced to shut shop about a decade ago. More than 75,000 women were em­ployed in Ma­ha­rash­tra’s 2,500 dance bars, which were also a source of liveli­hood for 1.5 lakh other peo­ple, in­clud­ing cooks and wait­ers.

On Thurs­day, a bench headed by jus­tice Di­pak Misra ex­pressed un­hap­pi­ness when the coun­sel for the In­dian Ho­tel and Restau­rant As­so­ci­a­tion (IHRA) told the court that the state gov­ern­ment had not acted on any of the re­quests put forth by var­i­ous restau­rants and ho­tels.

The Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment coun­sel, se­nior ad­vo­cate Harish Salve, as­sured the court that its di­rec­tive would be “re­spected and ad­hered to”.

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