MUMBAI: The Supreme Court decision on Thursday, that relaxed several of the regulations imposed on bar dance, was hailed by bar dancers as well as owners.
However, the decision was condemned in the political circles even as the state government saw vindication of its position in the decision.
"We are happy about the supreme court decision. The government had put very stringent conditions that had made it difficult to run the dance bars. Hopefully, after today's decision the dance bars would be able to restart," said Santosh Shetty, president of AHAR, the association of hotels and restaurants.
"As businessmen, we won't like wrong things to happen in the business. Hence, we welcome whatever restriction kept intact by the Supreme Court and we shall ensure that they are followed," said another member of the association Uday Shetty as they addressed a press conference.
Adv Varsha Kale, who is one of the petitioners in the case and President of Bharatiya Bar Girls' Union (BBGU) said that the association is very happy about the provision regarding the contract between the bar dancers and the owners in today's SC verdict.
"The Supreme Court verdict today has raised a ray of hope for thousands of bar dancers who had suddenly been rendered unemployed by the decision of Maharashtra government to ban dance bars in 2005. I hope the dance bars start soon and the girls could get back their means of livelihood," she added.
Maharashtra government too stated that it would honour the SC decision as it has vindicated the state government's stand by keeping most of the conditions intact. But, the government also regretfully observed that the decision doesn't reflect the public sentiments against the dance bars.
"We are committed to abide by the court's verdict and respect it. Within the ambit of the decision, we will maintain vigilance so that no untoward activities happen under the garb of dance bars," said minister of state for home Dr Ranjit Patil.
While another senior minister Vinod Tawde said that the government would seek a review of the decision before a larger bench, Dr Patil said that decision regarding future action would be taken only after the SC order is received and studied.
While pointing out a different aspect of the case, Shiv Sena spokesperson Dr Neelam Gorhe said, "The legislation was aimed at prevention of glorification of sexual exploitation in the business. In that sense the SC decision is bad. However, it must be noted the Supreme Court too hasn't done away with all the restrictions. It indicates that a more full-proof legislation would be needed."
The opposition NCP and the Congress, however, condemned the government. While NCP leader and opposition leader Dhananjay Munde said that the decision is a failure of the state government, and is indicated of the fact that the state government didn't put across its arguments strongly, state Congress president Ashok Chavan termed the development as state government's "back-door attempt to restart the dance bars".