Maharashtra ban on dance bars: State hires top guns to fight case

Mumbai: Keen to ensure that the blanket ban on dance bars remains, the state government has hired top lawyers to fight its case in the Supreme Court. Sources claimed the government has roped in former solicitor general of India Harish Salve and senior lawyer Pinki Anand for the hearing expected in the coming week.


Interestingly, the Association of Hotels and Restaurants (AHAR) that is fighting against the government has former law minister Kapil Sibal on its panel.

“On November 5, one of the judges was on leave and the matter was adjourned for November 19. The hearing, however, has been adjourned till next week,” said a senior officer.

The hearing for the case has been adjourned twice since the last week of October, when an interim order lifting the ban on dance bars was passed on the condition that the performances will not be obscene. At the time, a division bench of justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla Chandra Pant had said, “We think it is appropriate to stay the provisions of section 33 (A)(1) of the Maharashtra Police (second amendment) Act.”

“We, however, have a rider that no performance will be remotely expressive of any kind of obscenity… the licensing authority can regulate such dance performances so that individual dignity of woman performer is not harmed,” the bench had said.

Reacting to the order, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had said the state government will press for its demand in the apex court to continue the ban.