Licences of 28 orchestra bars cancelled; more to face music
The Mumbai police are considering draft rules against rogue bars, to cancel their licences permanently.mumbai Updated: Aug 16, 2018 14:57 IST
While the Supreme Court hears a petition challenging the closure of dance bars in Maharashtra, the Mumbai police have cancelled the licences of 28 orchestra bars operating in the city in the past six months.
The Mumbai police are considering draft rules against rogue bars, to cancel their licences permanently.
They have been cracking down on orchestra bars that violate the terms of their licenses. Dancing is strictly forbidden in orchestra bars. They can, however, have live music. When the government closed down dance bars, where women were hired to dance to recorded music, in 2005, many of them morphed into orchestra bars. At present, there are 294 orchestra bars that have performance licences across the city.
Sources said the licences of 28 orchestra bars were cancelled after raids by the Mumbai police uncovered serious violations, including women trafficking rings. An official told HT that the “licences of a majority of these 28 bars had been cancelled many times in the past. That did not bring about any changes in their conduct”.
Investigations are underway into the operations of three orchestra bars in Tardeo — Drum Beat, Indiana and White House — which were raided over the weekend of August 11-12. Drum Beat is owned by the late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s daughter-in-law, Madhavi, who has leased it out to a third party. Cases were filed against the owners and staff under sections 294 (obscene acts and songs), 114 (abettor present when offence is committed) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, and Tardeo Police station is now compiling its findings.
“We are waiting for the reports from the local police on the findings made during the raid. After scrutinizing the reports, the license of those bars would be cancelled,” said a Mumbai police official, requesting anonymity.
According to the police, the cancellation of orchestra bars’ licences is not tackling the problem. “As soon as their licenses are cancelled, they go in for appeal and get favourable orders to reopen,” said a senior official. Sources claimed that the police are planning to draft a proposal for the permanent closure of rogue orchestra bars.
“Orchestra bars are different from dance bars on paper only. In reality, there exists no difference between the two. Then what purpose does the ban serve?” asked an official.
First Published: Aug 16, 2018 05:58 IST