Mumbai dance bars to reopen after SC verdict

Mumbai, July 16 (IANS) The city's famous symbol of night life, the dance bars which were shut down in 2005, may come alive again with the Supreme Court Tuesday striking down a ban on them. The Maharashtra government said a panel would study the verdict.

Stunned by the apex court ruling in New Delhi against the forced closure of the bars, the government decided to set up a committee of lawyers, legal experts and legislators to study the verdict before taking appropriate measures.

Home Minister R.R. Patil, facing the opposition ire over the state government's defeat in the apex court, said in the state legislature: "We are waiting for the copy of the Supreme Court judgment."

"We shall set up a panel of lawyers, legal experts and legislators who will study it and submit report," said Patil, who had imposed the controversial ban in 2005.

Patil said as per the committee's suggestion, the government would decide whether to file a review petition, approach a full bench of the apex court or change the existing laws pertaining to dance bars.

An apex court bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice S.S. Nijjar rejected the Maharashtra government's appeal against the Bombay High Court verdict of 2006, striking down police orders banning dance bars.

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

Though hoteliers and bar dancers are overjoyed with the apex court verdict, it has evoked sharp reactions from different political parties.

Maharashtra Congress chief Manikrao Thakre said the ban "was a correct decision" and there should be a strong law to ban dance bars for which the state government would take suitable steps.

Nationalist Congress Party state chief Bhaskar Jadhav said people of the state "support the ban on dance bars".

Bharatiya Janata Party state president Devendra Fadnavis said his party was "totally against the culture of dance bars and they must not function".

Declining further comments without studying the details of the apex court judgment, Fadnavis demanded that the government must go in for a review petition or make suitable amendments to the law.

Samajwadi Party state chief Abu Asim Azmi castigated the state government for the setback in the apex court, saying that it "failed to do its homework".

Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam demanded R.R. Patil's resignation on the issue while party spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said that there was no need for dance bars as women were subjected to exploitation in these bars.

The apex court struck down the state government's August 2005 decision to shut down dance bars across the state.

The ban was earlier struck down by the Bombay High Court in 2006, but the state government went in appeal in the Supreme Court which upheld the high court's decision.

One of the groups which had challenged the state government move, The Fight For Rights Bar Owners Association president M.S. Sethi welcomed the apex court judgment.

He said Mumbai police cancelled all licences subject to the outcome of the apex court ruling.

"Now that the Supreme Court ruling has gone in our favour, the police decision stands automatically cancelled. I don't see any reason why we cannot re-start the dance bars from today," Sethi told reporters.

He claimed the state government's regressive decision had pushed many women into prostitution instead of making a dignified living by dancing in the bars and urged the authorities to encourage the business which was a major tourist attraction.

Leader of the bar dancers' association Varsha Kale also welcomed the apex court judgment and said a long struggle had finally ended in the dancers' favour.

"The state government did nothing to rehabilitate the dancers. We welcome the decision," Kale said.

Several former bar dancers who spoke to various reporters welcomed the apex court decision and said that after suffering for eight years, they would now be able to dance and earn a decent living.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

IPL 7, GAME 10—Chennai beat Rajasthan by 7 runs after last-over scare. More »

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

Chandimal axed as T20 captain, Malinga takes over

Chandimal axed as T20 captain, Malinga takes over

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Wednesday sacked Dinesh Chandimal as Twenty20 captain and replaced him with Lasith Malinga, while Angelo Mathews was… More »

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Dwayne Bravo is set to be sidelined for at least four weeks due to a shoulder problem. Bravo sustained the injury when attempting a catch on the boundary… More »

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

New Zealand Cricket has put forward a proposal to reinvent its domestic structure and allow up to 49% private investment into the six major associatio… More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Day of Supreme reckoning

Day of Supreme reckoning

Apex court to decide on BCCI’s proposed new committee today. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »