The state government has announced that they will file a review petition in Supreme Court so that the ban on dance bars continues, but bureaucrats in the law and judiciary department feel that it will not yield a positive outcome.
A review petition is admitted by the court only if facts have been overlooked while delivering the verdict or there are larger issues related to the fundamental rights of citizens, officials said, on condition of anonymity.
“We will have to study the ruling before taking any step. In high court, the state failed to prove that dance bars business involved human trafficking, owing to which it had been forced to cancel the licences. If the state’s contention is struck down on the basis of violation of fundamental right of people earning their livelihood through this profession, which the Bombay high court ruling referred to, it will be difficult for the government to prove otherwise,” an official said.
The high court had also pointed out that the state government was discriminating when it imposed a ban on dance performance in bars and permitted them at tamashas [traditional folk theatre] and in three- and five-star hotels, an official said.
“If the SC ruling was on the basis of this discrimination, the state can represent its case again by removing the discrimination.”
A legal expert involved with the law and judiciary department said the home department can use provisions in other Acts to restrict activities in dance bars.
“The government can put restrictions on dance bars as it has the right to frame laws while issuing licences. But for this strict enforcement is necessary,” the expert said.
Senior home department officials said the government will change its argument strategy while filing the review petition.
“Until now, the government counsel was fighting the case on the basis of morality and righteousness. We will now argue the case on the issue of exploitation,” he added.