Mumbai: 33 dance bars may get on the floor again

Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association claims Supreme Court has allowed bars to apply for licences; adds that typed order will be issued in January

A total of 33 dance bars are expected to be issued licences under the 2005 norms. Representation pic
A total of 33 dance bars are expected to be issued licences under the 2005 norms. Representation pic

Here's a bit of news that has set feet tapping in the city’s notorious dance bars: the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed dance bars to apply for licences and operate under existing norms, according to the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR). Till date, only three such bars had been permitted to resume business. However, after the SC’s decision, a total of 33 dance bars are expected to be issued licenses under the 2005 norms, AHAR said. The apex court will give a final verdict on the issue on January 11 next year.

Adarsh Shetty, president, AHAR said that the association would follow two of the 26 renewed dance bar norms of 2014, including setting up of CCTV cameras at the entry and exit of all bars, as well as not issuing licences to owners who have any sort of criminal background. “The SC has directed the state authorities to process and grant licences to all other applicants apart from the three functioning dance bars,” said Shetty. “Currently, we have 33 licenses pending approval.”

15 days for typed order
The court is expected to take a week to issue a typed order, after which, AHAR will take three days to circulate among its members. “It will take around 15 days (after the issuing of licences and three buffer days for circulation) to make the bars fully functional once again. We need some time to bring back the artists and revive old contacts; most of them have gone back to their hometowns.”

Apart from providing thousands of women with a steady income, Shetty remained hopeful that these dance bars could also contribute to the nation’s coffers in a big way. “Out of job dancers have been doing odd jobs and not earning as much as they used to. This judgment is a victory for all them.”

Old and new
Although the licences will be issued in accordance with the old 2005 rules, certain amendments from 2014 will be taken into account. “The SC had asked us to install CCTV cameras at the entry and exit of all bars, which we have done and will continue to do so,” said Shetty. He also pointed out that dance bars would be allowed to function till the usual 1 am deadline, and would serve liquor as well, as these were allowed under the old rules.

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