State to file fresh plea in Supreme Court to keep dance bars shut

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Suren­dra Gan­gan suren­dra.gan­gan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

In a last-ditch at­tempt to keep the ban on dance bars in Ma­ha­rash­tra — the Supreme Court had lifted the ban in an in­terim or­der in Oc­to­ber — the state gov­ern­ment has said it will file a fresh af­fi­davit in the top court, and high­light how re­open­ing the bars will give rise to “so­cial ills”.

The de­ci­sion to file the fresh af­fi­davit comes even as the state has started fram­ing rules to gov­ern how dance bars func­tion, if the ban is fully lifted.

At the time of the Oc­to­ber hear­ing, the state sub­mit­ted an af­fi­davit, in which it said the dance bars had a neg­a­tive im­pact on the youth and the dig­nity of women work­ing in the bars had been com­pro­mised.

The new af­fi­davit, the state said, is likely to stress fur­ther on the need for the ban for “the good of so­ci­ety”. The state will file it in the next few weeks. The SC will next hear the case in Fe­bru­ary 2016.

“The Apex Court, in its or­der, has quoted pro­vi­sions of the fun- da­men­tal rights of the women work­ing in the bars, when it struck down the ban. The fresh af­fi­davit will men­tion all schemes the gov­ern­ment chalked out to re­ha­bil­i­tate th­ese women af­ter the ban was im­posed about ten years ago,” said an of­fi­cer from the home depart­ment. “We will also point out how the scheme had no tak­ers from the job­less work­ers, as they used to make much more money in the bars.”

To bol­ster its case, the state said it will in­clude ex­am­ples from Mum­bai and Navi Mum­bai to show how the bars drew the youth to splurge all of their sav­ings.

CON­TIN­UED ON P11

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