‘Govt could not defend dance bar ban in SC’

ST CORRESPONDENT
Friday, 18 January 2019

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress President Ashok Chavan said it was a clear deal to collect money from bar owners and so the State Government weakly presented the case in the apex court.

MUMBAI: After the Supreme Court relaxed certain rules imposed by the State Government on dance bars, the Opposition parties alleged that the government could not defend the ban in the Supreme Court strongly.

The Opposition alleged there is a nexus between the bar owners and the State Government to get huge funds for the upcoming elections.

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress President Ashok Chavan said it was a clear deal to collect money from bar owners and so the State Government weakly presented the case in the apex court.

"The Congress government had honest intention in closing down the dance bars which destroyed thousands of families. In 2016, the dance bar owners publicly donated for the CM Relief Fund. Almost each and every condition put by the government has been rejected by the court due to weak defence by the government,” said Chavan.

"For BJP, election funds are more important than the future of thousands of families," he alleged.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson alleged there was a secret meeting with the bar association at Chief Minister's bungalow, where the alleged deal was finalised.

However, Minister of State for Home (Urban) Ranjit Patil said the apex court has agreed to several provisions of the State’s law on dance bars, including time restrictions and no showering of currency notes on performers.

“A written copy of the court order is yet to be received and once we get that, will study it and decide the further course of action. We are committed to abide by the court’s verdict and respect it. Within the ambit of the decision, we will maintain vigilance so that no untoward activities happen under the guise of dance bars,” said Patil.

Reacting to the court order, the Maharashtra Government said that it will check any 'untoward activity' taking place under the garb of dance bars. Education Minister Vinod Tawde said the BJP-led State Government presented its case well before the Supreme Court.

Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab said he was told in the Legislative Council while approving the bill that there are many loopholes in the law. "I already warned the Congress-NCP government that it won't sustain in court of law," Parab said.

Vinaya Rahatkar, Chairman of State Woman Council said it is not clearcut permission for the bars, but there are certain restrictions.

"Though the Supreme Court's decision is not as per our expectations, we have to follow it. The State Government will take care and vigil it properly that no type of exploitation will be in this business," Rahatkar said.

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