The state government is determined not to allow dance bars to reopen in Mumbai and its surrounding areas. Home minister RR Patil told the Assembly on Friday that the ordinance to continue the ban on dance bars would be issued in the next few weeks.
“According to the report submitted by the advocate general of state [Darius Khambata], the provisions in various existing laws are adequate to continue the ban. A new bill using these provisions in the existing legislations will be introduced soon,” said Patil, adding that the government has decided to bring a fresh bill in the winter session in December.
Patil also hinted that the state government was working on a plan for rehabilitating people affected by the ban.
The state government has dropped the idea of filing a review petition against the Supreme Court ruling.
“The expert panel has not recommended us to go for a review petition. Our emphasis would be on a comprehensive Act, which would do away with the discrimination pointed out by the Supreme Court [while upholding a High Court verdict on dance bars],” the home minister said. The government now plans to also include star hotel in the provisions of the ban.
Although Patil wanted the draft of the new bill to be ready before the conclusion of the monsoon session, the advocate general of the state requested for more time. Patil said the home department will not take any chances while drafting the bill this time around.
The home minister also informed the Assembly that all parties would be taken into confidence before introducing the bill. “Once the bill is ready, we will convene a meeting of group leaders of all parties to ensure that there are no loopholes,” said Patil.