In SC, state to defend dance bar restrictions
Although bar owners have challenged the stringent norms regulating bars, the state government is all set to justify them in the apex court, saying the restrictions were necessary to ensure safety and dignity of women working in theses establishments.mumbai Updated: Sep 01, 2016 01:22 IST
Although bar owners have challenged the stringent norms regulating bars, the state government is all set to justify them in the apex court, saying the restrictions were necessary to ensure safety and dignity of women working in theses establishments. The state will soon file an affidavit in the Supreme Court, supporting the restrictions related to the distance, timings, installation of the CCTV and serving liquor in the bar.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday served a notice to the state government, asking it to file an affidavit on the norms.
Dance bar owners have objected to the restriction of maintaining a 1-km distance from any religious or educational structure claiming it was not possible in big cities.
They have claimed that another curb of shutting down the bars before 11.30pm is discriminatory in the time when the central government was promoting round-the-clock business by commercial establishments.
The installation of the CCTVs was also challenged as it will compromise the privacy of consumers. They have said that the ban on serving liquor in the performance are is also unwarranted.
“The Supreme Court, in an earlier order, had put the onus on the state to safeguard the dignity of women working in the bars by restricting the obscenity and vulgarity. Our contention is that CCTV and timing restrictions are to ensure the safety of the women,” said an official from the Home department.
“As far as the distance of the bar from the religious/educational institutions is concerned, the Bombay Prohibition Act has the provisions of maintaining such distance. The state has every right to make changes in the distance depending on the character of the establishment” the officer said.
“We will fight the objections in the next SC hearing. The State has every right to frame such rules in the interest of the society,” senior counsel Shekhar Nafade, who is representing the state in the SC, said. The next hearing is on September 21.
The SC has applauded the government for the ban on showering currency notes on dancers. By enacting an entirely new law in April this year, the state also framed stringent rules regulating the bars. The bar owners have challenged the law, claiming the restrictions to be ‘arbitrary and unreasonable’.