Maharashtra govt to defend dance bar rules in SC, but willing to be flexible

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Feb 26, 2016 01:28 IST

The state government on Thursday said it was firm on the rules it had framed for the reopening of dance bars, although it was willing to make a few changes if needed. The move comes a day after the Supreme Court said the norms set by the state government for issuing licences to dance bars were “absurd”.

The state home department is expected to file the affidavit in the Apex Court before the next hearing on March 1. Officials said they will try and justify the norms in the Supreme Court. They claimed that the rules have been framed as per the observations of the Supreme Court, which had upheld the government’s right to curb obscenity and vulgarity that is promoted in the name of business by the dance bars.

Read more: SC questions Maharashtra govt’s ‘weird’ licence norm for dance bars

The government, however, has shown willingness to be flexible and make a few changes to the norms if required.

“The new framework of norms set for the dance bars are in accordance with the SC directives of curbing the vulgarity and obscenity while allowing the dance bars to restart. We will justify all the norms that have been set for reopening the bars. But we are flexible to make the changes in case the court finds any of them [norms] to be harsh,” said Dr Vijay Satbir Singh, principal secretary, home.

An official from the home department said that they had already initiated the process of issuing licences to dance bars. “We have given a letter of intent to around 70 bar owners and operators off the 100 applications were had received. The moment they abide by the norms, they will be allowed to restart the bars,” said the official.

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