Between the cup and the lip… Action in dance bars yet to begin

Mumbai : Even though licenses have been issued to three dance bars on directions of the Supreme Court, actual dance performances will start only after they are verified by Mumbai Police for compliance with the pre-conditions set for them.

The Supreme Court had said earlier this week that licenses have to be granted by the government to the eight bars that had filed the affidavit in this case. While three bars were given licenses yesterday, three are yet to pay the license fees while two bars are from out of town and hence do not come under this jurisdiction.

Further, no new licenses were issued today by the Mumbai Police since the three bars that are still pending are yet to deposit a demand draft of Rs two lakh each. “Their paperwork has been completed and they will get the license once they make this payment,” an officer said.

In the hearing that was held today, the court has said that the bars that have been given licenses will have to comply with the 26 pre conditions that were laid down by the administration. Importantly, the pre conditions laid down under the new law has not been included in this list by the SC. The new law had some draconian conditions like no dance bar should be located within one kilometer of any school, college or hospital and that the drinking area and the performance area will be separate.

A senior police official explained that they had made a noting in their affidavit that even though the licenses are being issued on instructions of the court, the bars will have to meet all the pre conditions before they can functioning.  ”As as when these preconditions are met, they will inform us and we will go and check whether they are in place,” he said.

Some of these conditions are having a three feet high non transparent barrier between the dancers and the customers and a distance of five feet between them.  Also, there will be a CCTV installed at the entry and exit points of the bars and the criminal antecedents of all the staffers working in the bars will be checked, he added.

Further, these bars have to meet these conditions and report this to the police for verification within 60 days of getting the license.”If they do not come to us within 60 days then their license gets revoked and their license fees of Rs 2 lakh gets forfeited,” the officer said. There is also the `rangabhoomi’ license that has to be obtained from the Mantralaya which will allow them to have performances in their premises, he said.

Responding to this development, Ramanna Shetty, a dance bar owner from Kandivali(W) said that this is just the beginning and there will be more joints who will be applying for licenses in the coming days. “Many of the bars have already complied with the 26 pre conditions that had been laid down by the government and are ready for inspection,” he added.

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