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  India   Jail or Rs 50,000 fine for touching bar dancers

Jail or Rs 50,000 fine for touching bar dancers

Published : Mar 30, 2016, 2:33 am IST
Updated : Mar 30, 2016, 2:33 am IST

The Maharashtra draft law to allow licences for dance bars will be a stringent one, which suggests imprisonment of six months and/or a penalty of Rs 50,000 on anyone touching bar dancers or throwing m

The Maharashtra draft law to allow licences for dance bars will be a stringent one, which suggests imprisonment of six months and/or a penalty of Rs 50,000 on anyone touching bar dancers or throwing money at them. In a meeting led by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis at Vidhan Bhavan on Tuesday, it was decided that the crime would be considered a cognisable and non-bailable one.

The CM has already formed a 25-member committee of all-party MLAs to review the draft of the new legislation. The committee was appointed after the Supreme Court rejected the state’s act to ban dance bars. In the meeting, a few rules were discussed which will be converted into a bill and will be tabled in the House during the ongoing Budget Session for final approval. Once the bill is approved, it will be converted into an act and will be applicable across the state, said an official. According to the official, installing CCTVs at the entrance of dance bars and on the dance floor will be mandatory. The owner will have to keep the CCTV footage for up to 30 days.

The draft has suggested that if the bar owner or operator allows a bar dancer to be exploited, he will be penalised Rs 10 lakh or imprisoned for three years or both.

In the new draft, the dance bar will not be allowed to stay open after 11.30 pm. Earlier, it had allowed the dance bar to remain open till 2 am. It has also been suggested that three women security guards be posted and women waiters and bar dancers be asked to stay on after 9.30 pm only with their consent.

Narcotic drugs will not be permitted in dance bars. However, consumption of alcohol will be allowed. It will be mandatory for the bar owner to have a record of all employees, including the name, address, age, educational qualification, nationality and Aadhaar number.

The new draft also suggests that women under the age of 25 not be allowed to work as bar dancers. The bar owner will have to sign an agreement specifying the monthly salary including the contribution towards provident fund and other miscellaneous benefits with all employees. The owner will have to maintain register of all employees and their attendance will be recorded through biometric system.

Vulgar dances or actions will not be allowed. The bar dancer will not be allowed to be skimpily clad and dace bars will not be permitted within the periphery of one kilometre from educational institutes and places of worship.

If an illegal dance bar is found, the owner or operator will be liable for a fine of Rs 25 lakh and/or imprisonment for five years. The offence will be non-bailable and cognisable.

The distance between the dance floor and the seating arrangement should be five feet and no person will be allowed to go at the dance floor, the draft has suggested. People who visit dance bars must be over 25 years and must have valid age and identity proof.