Fadnavis faces tough task; more allegations against his minister
There’s more trouble in store for newly inducted labour minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar and embarrassment for chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. The Congress brought to light details of the former’s involvement in a Rs49 crore nonperforming asset (NPA) loan case, in which he has been charge sheeted by the CBI.
Fadnavis, who gave a clean chit to his younger colleague in the state assembly just last week, may now have to face a breach of privilege motion, with the Congress saying it will move the notice against him for misguiding the Assembly.
Documents released by the Congress reveal Nilangekar was charged with criminal conspiracy in this case by the CBI, along with other directors of the firm, Victoria Agro Foods, which took the loan from the Union Bank of India and Bank of Maharashtra. Contrary to Nilangekar’s claims, his role in the case was not limited to being just a guarantor for the loan, but he had a direct family interest in the firm.
Maharashtra’s dance bar owners have moved the Supreme Court against a new law that says obscenity in dance performances will invite a five-year jail term, but does not clearly define obscenity. The law defines “obscene dance” as a dance “designed only to arouse the prurient interest of the audience”. The petitioner also questioned a bar on tipping dancers, calling it “irrational”.
The Dance Bar Regulation Bill was passed by the Assembly on April 13 and notified on April 20. It includes 26 conditions that bar owners must comply with to get licences. Days later, an SC bench headed by justice Dipak Misra said, “It is better for women to perform in dance bars than to beg on the streets or indulge in unacceptable activities.”
The Maharashtra government banned dance bars in the state in 2005, rendering an estimated 150,000 people — half of them dancers — jobless. The Bombay high court struck down the government order in 2006 but the state challenged it in the SC, which allowed a stay on grant of licence. The top court upheld the high court ruling in 2013 before finally lifting the ban in October last year. In its petition to the SC filed last week, the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association said the new law was another attempt by the state to override the SC verdict lifting the ban on dance bars. It said that despite court orders, the government was yet to renew or issue licences.