Maharashtra Assembly on 13 June 2014 approved the Bill to amend the Dance Bar Prohibition Act. The Act has been amended to remove a legal Lacuna that led Supreme Court to strike down the State Government’s 2005 order to ban dance bars.
This amendment has prohibited dance performances in three-star and five-star hotels by terming that licenses of the dance bars stand cancelled and will be withdrawn within 30 days. However, it does not extend a ban to family parties in pubs and discotheques, and orchestras.
The approved amendment to Maharashtra Police Act states that dance performances in bars and restaurants across all types of hospitality industry has been banned. It says that any breach of the code would invite an action of minimum three months to maximum five years jail term and minimum one lakh to five lakh rupees fine, besides cancellation of hotel permit.
Earlier, the Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice SS Nijjar in July 2013 questioned the Maharashtra government’s decision to ban performances in smaller bars, while such performances continued in 3-star and 5-star hotels. Hence, the decision to ban dance bars across the state was made to avoid the discrimination between the ordinary dance bars and dance bars in three and five star hotels.
The drafted amend to the bill will be tabled in the assembly during ongoing session.
When: 13 June 2014