The Supreme Court today pulled up the Mumbai Police for not taking steps to open dance bars by issuing them licences as per its order six months back and also issuing a new controversial Act which imposed several more restrictions.
The bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra besides asking the Deputy Commissioner of Police concerned to appear before it on April 25 also sought a compliance report from the Mumbai police.
The bench took strong note of non-compliance of its order dated March 2 asking Mumbai Police to grant licenses to dance bars within ten days after they complied with the modified conditions, and sought the presence of the concerned police officer before it. “What have you done so far? It (process of granting licenses) should have been completed by the date fixed by us”, the bench said.
The bench was angry that nothing had been done even six months after its order, more specifically the one issued on March 2, 2016 after the dance bars complied with certain modified conditions like putting up a railing around the dancing stage and installing CCTVs at the entrance.
As the bench questioned the new rules and definition of obscenity, Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand appearing for the Centre said “We have only said dance cannot be obscene”
The bench then retorted “that is what we have also said. Obscenity is anyways prohibited under section 292 of the IPC. What is there to bring in a new Act? When will you comply with our previous orders? Look dance bar is not like liquor trade. Dance bars are permissible subject to certain regulations At the outset, senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, appearing for Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association, alleged that Maharashtra has not complied with the direction to grant licenses to the dance bar owners within ten days after they complied with the modified pre-conditions and urged the court to summon a responsible officer to the court.
“They gave us licenses and took it back within two days”, Bhushan contended.
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for Maharashtra, sought some time for filing the affidavit to show compliance of the court's order.
Read the order here.