SC seeks reply from Maharashtra Police on objections by dance bars

Mumbai : The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a reply from the Maharashtra Police on the petition filed by Dance Bar Association against fresh conditions imposed on them.

The police has been asked to file its reply before March 1.

The Dance Bar Association had approached the apex court as the Maharashtra Police had imposed several new conditions on them before they are given permission to re-open the same.

The Dance Bar Association said that the 24 new conditions imposed by the police were extremely contentious.

The conditions imposed by the police are installing CCTV cameras in the dance area with a live feed to the police station, covering the performance area with a three feet partition wall to keep the dancers and patrons segregated, to make a partition between the dance bar and the rest of the bar and to ensure that persons with criminal history should not be allowed to work in the dance bars.

“As per the last order for starting the dance bars by the Maharashtra Government, it imposed some restrictions which the dance bars owners ought to comply. The bar owners had objection with regard to certain conditions such as installations of CCTV cameras in the dancing area as well as installation of three feet partition,” Chief Standing Counsel of the Maharashtra Government, Advocate Nishant Katneshwarkar, told ANI.

“The intention behind this partition condition was that there should be control with the obscenity such as the viewers may touch the dance bar girls,” he added.

Katneshwarkar said these conditions were objected to by the bar owners.

“Now, the court has heard both the sides. It has kept the matter for 1st March to submit a response to these conditions by the state government,” he added.

Katneshwarkar further stated that the court enquired with the state government to take instructions whether there are CCTV cameras installed in the restaurants.

“We enquired in Mumbai, Pune as well as in Delhi and our instructions are that there are certain restaurants, which have installed CCTV cameras. The restaurant owners have installed the cameras for their purpose. If there is any untoward incident then they can definitely show this footage to the police and make the things clear,” he said.

The apex court had on October 15 last year stayed a law passed by the Maharashtra Assembly banning dance bars, following which more than 150 dance bars had started the process of re-opening including seeking the mandatory licenses. (ANI)