Fire safety nod a must for dance bars to get licence: Mumbai police
The directive also applies to the three dance bars that have already been issued licenses last year, following a Supreme Court order.mumbai Updated: Mar 01, 2017 09:11 IST
The Mumbai police have asked 72 dance bars that have applied for licences to submit fresh fire safety compliance certificates before they are deemed fit to restart business.
The directive also applies to the three dance bars that have already been issued licenses last year, following a Supreme Court order.
The counsels for the dance bar owners, who have been fighting a long legal battle with the government after the 2005 ban on them, called the latest police move a delaying tactic to deny licenses.
Highly placed sources in the Mumbai police told HT that recently, the headquarters branch — the licensing authority for dance bars — issued the directive to 72 dance bars to submit fresh compliance certificates from the fire brigade as a mandatory requirement for license.
These are the bars that had applied for fresh licenses after the November 24 order of the Supreme Court, which ruled that if the applicants stood at a par with the three dance bars that have already been granted license, the competent authority shall consider their application on the concept of parity.
“As they [dance bars] are applying for fresh licenses, they have to submit fresh fire compliance certificates . They can’t continue with the old NoC that was issued before 2005,” an officer from the headquarters branch told HT, requesting anonymity. He said the police were duty-bound to follow the fire safety norms.
Prabhat Rahndale, the chief fire officer, told HT dance bars have to be fire-safety complaint before they were issued licenses. “We do not issue licenses to dance bars. But fire safety is a requirement for the license and they (dance bars) should comply. If the police issue license without following fire safety norms, they will be held responsible if there is a mishap,” Rahndale said.
He said the fire brigade would conduct an audit of the dance bars and submit its report in a week’s time after receipt of the application for that purpose.
Officials dismissed reports that three dance bars—Indiana at Tardeo and Aero Punjab and Sai Prasad in Andheri—were issued fresh licenses on Monday, following the expiry of their provisional license in August last year.
Senior advocate Satyajit Saha, who is representing the dance bar owners in the SC, said, “The police are supposed to file a status report on applications for licenses on March 6. It will not be possible for dance bars, which have applied for license after fulfilling various conditions imposed from time to time, to obtain the fire certificate by that time. This excuse will be used by the police to buy some more time to consider licenses,” Saha said adding, “it makes clear their intention not to issue license at all.”