Mumbai: Panel to study draft law to ban dance bars

Maharashtra Legislative Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar yesterday directed that a joint committee of members of both Houses of Legislature, as proposed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, study the draft legislation to ban dance bars.

Nimbalkar’s direction in the Upper House came after Fadnavis called for a strong law against dance bars to stand scrutiny in courts.

During the calling attention motion, Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde raised the issue and said that former state Home Minister R R Patil had managed to prevent dance bars from conducting business for 10 years.

“While we honour the SC's judgment, it is our right to frame a law banning their (dance bars) operations,” he said. Responding to this, Fadnavis said after courts had struck down the (earlier) state government's law banning dance bars, the Advocate General was consulted, who drafted a new law which was rejected by the (then) state government.

Instead, the (earlier) government drafted a new law, which was once again sent to the AG, who termed it amateurish and one that looks like government doing moral policing. This law was once again challenged by dance bar association in courts, he pointed out. “We have readied a draft law that has included suggestions from all stakeholders. I request that a committee of members of both Houses should be formed which would study the draft law in the next 3-5 days,” he said.

Fadnavis said that while a regulatory Act is required for liquor prohibition, a strong law, that would stand the scrutiny of courts, is required to ban dance bars.

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