Even as the Supreme Court has rapped the state government over its delay in reopening dance bars, the state government is firm in issuing licences as per the new law.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said licences will be issued as per the new law and that the state government will ask the Supreme Court to nullify petitions from dance bar owners as the old law on which they are based has been repealed.
On Monday, the apex court rapped the state government for not issuing licences to dance bars despite its order on March 2.
The state government claimed that bar owners have failed to fulfil the conditions laid down to curb vulgarity and obscenity and ensure the safety of women working in bars. The state government had received 157 applications. Only four were given permission to open.
Later, the state government withdrew the permission after it found that they had not complied with fire safety norms. It also suspended four police officers for giving permission without verifying compliance.
“Whatever we have done is as per the law. Licences were not issued because applicants failed to fulfil the 26 conditions laid down before the new law came into force,” Fadnavis told HT.
“Since the new law has come into force, licences will be issued as per its provisions. We will request the Supreme Court to nullify the pending petition by bar owners as it was based on the two amendments to the Maharashtra Police Act which have been repealed by the new law,” said the chief minister.
The notification for the new law was issued on Monday.
“We have been asked to submit an action-taken report on applications for licences. The licencing authority (deputy commissioner of police) will submit the report in court,” said principal secretary Vijay Satbir Singh.