Maharashtra dares Supreme Court, not to open dance bars

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Mumbai, July 17: Maharashtra government is likely to challenge the Supreme Court verdict on dance bars. The state government sources said that it would not allow any dance bar to open. Home Minister RR Patil on Wednesday, July 16 said both ruling and opposition parties in the state were against the apex court's decision of upholding the Bombay HC order striking down a 2005 legislation that outlawed dance bars.

Patil, who had spearheaded the crusade to ban dance bars in 2005, was quoted as saying, "There has been no change in the situation since the law was passed. We shall form a committee of prominent members of both houses and seek legal advice on how to keep dance bars closed. We shall finalize the strategy during the session."

Bar Dancers

Times of India quoted the minister as saying that Maharashtra has three options -- file a review petition before the SC, refer the case to a larger SC bench, or amend the Bombay Police Act so that the ban continues.

Speaking about their move regarding the apex court, the minister said, "We have briefed the chief minister on the verdict. We are weighing all options," Patil said.

The Supreme Court Tuesday upheld the right of bar dancers to pursue their profession subject to dancing bars taking licence from the state authorities.

The apex court bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice S S Nijjar upheld the right of bar dancers as it rejected the Maharashtra government's plea against the Bombay High Court verdict striking down the police orders that bar dancing in hotels below three stars.

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