Mumbai: The ping pong game between the state government and the dance bar owners continues. The Mumbai police with the support of the state government have yet again not issued a single license despite an order by the Supreme Court on November 24.
The present state administration appears to be following the legacy of late RR Patil (home minister) who had banned the dance bars in the entire state in the year 2005.
In the order of November 24, the apex court had said that the Mumbai police should process and approve the applications for dance bars as early as possible. This includes the 33 applications that are already pending with the administration or any new ones. In fact, the apex court has allowed online applications for licences to ensure transparency, however bar owners are yet to use this facility. Further, the bars are now to be issued licenses under the 2005 laws that were in force when the dance bars had been banned.
Adarsh Shetty, president of Association of Hotels and Restaurants (AHAR), said that it has been almost a week since the SC order came through but there still is no response from the Mumbai police. “We recently had a meeting with senior police officials who issue these licences, but they have not responded. We have also supplied them with a copy of the SC order to expedite the matter without any excuse,” said Shetty.
A senior police officer admitted that the applications are still pending with them because they are determined to challenge this decision and will demand that the new law of April 2016 be implemented. This includes the conditions for functioning of these dance bars that have been laid down in the new law.