Police verification process gathers speed

Mumbai : With dance bars in Mumbai busy renovating their joints to comply with the Supreme Court directions in the matter, the police have taken up a batch of 51 applications that will be verified by the local police stations.

The SC recently modified some of the pre-conditions laid down by the State Government for issuing licenses to the dance bars that had been banned since the year 2005. The most important direction was that the SC had said that the CCTV cameras can only be at the entry and exit point and not at the performance areas. The SC also agreed that there can be a three feet high, non-removable grill that will separate the bar dancers stage from the customers seating area.

According to Sadashiv Shelar, senior police inspector, in-charge of issuing licenses to the dance bars, they are presently processing the applications of 51 dance bars that are located in different parts of the city. “We have told the local police station to carry out the verification process and give us a report within four days. If these joints comply with the recent SC directions, they will be issued the licenses,” he explained.  The officer said that they have a deadline of scrutinising all the applications and giving their go ahead to the deserving case by March 15.

Commenting on this matter, Adarsh Shetty from the Association of Hotel and Restaurants (AHAR) said that the applications that had been submitted from last time are still valid and it is only a matter of complying with the SC directions.

“Many of the bars are already in the process of carrying out the necessary renovations within their premises to comply with the directions,” he said.

He said that at the moment they are only focusing on getting the licenses from the State government and will think of getting the staff later. “We have been saying that the dance bars will start so many times before this, that this time we want to wait till we get the licenses in our hands,” he said. After that getting the bar dancers to come down and start their work will not be a problem for them,” he added.

When asked about the proposed plan by the State government to bring out an ordinance regarding obscenity, Shetty said that he is not aware of this. “Our only hope is the SC where we feel we will get some justice regarding the opening of the dance bars soon,” he added.

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