No dance bars in residential buildings; Maha finalises draft

  • Surendra P Gangan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 08, 2016 00:18 IST
The draft of the new bill was finalised on Thursday and will be introduced in the legislative council on Monday. (HT Photo)

The draft bill to regularise dance bars, finalised by the state government on Thursday, has banned bars in residential buildings.

It has also made mandatory to have the consent of three-fourth of the residents in case the bars are in the semi-residential buildings.

The government has also decided to have an independent authority mechanism comprising NGOs and women activists to monitor the implementation of the rules and to keep the powers of the police under check.

The draft of the new bill was finalised on Thursday and will be introduced in the legislative council on Monday.

Based on the suggestions by the 25-member committee of the ministers and legislators, the state government made a few changes in the draft of the bill, first discussed last week.

Read: Cops ask dance bar licence applicants for self-certification

Bringing more clarity on the residential area, mentioned in the original draft, the final draft has banned bars in the residential buildings. Though most of the bars doing business till 2005 were in the residential buildings, the no-objection certificates from the secretary were sufficient to get the permission.

The final draft has also banned the serving of liquor in the performance area. This will, according to the government officials, make it difficult to attract customers as liquor is an important factor for the customers.

“Based on the suggestions by some committee members, we are considering establishing a mechanism for the effective implementation of the provisions in rules. The mechanism, which will comprise the members of the NGOs and women activists, will ensure the safety of the dancers and also keep obscenity at bay,” said Dr Vijay Satbir Singh, principal secretary, home.

Though the home department has consulted acting advocate general and senior counsel representing the state in the apex court, the home department officials are sceptical of two provisions in the draft bill. “They have more or less consented to the draft and advised us that the legal battle could be fought in the apex court. Though the provision of the CCTV cameras inside the bars has been struck down by the apex court, we will try to convince the court that the cameras will be made mandatory in the fashion that the privacy of the customers was not compromised. We are making the CCTV mandatory in the areas in the purview of the public place,” an official from the department said.

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