The Mumbai police have asked 72 dance bars that have applied for licences to submit fresh fire safety compliance certificates before they are deemed fit to restart business. The directive also applies to the three dance bars that have already been issued licenses last year, following a Supreme Court order. The counsels for the dance bar owners, who have been fighting a long legal battle with the government after the 2005 ban on them, called the latest police move a delaying tactic to deny licenses. Highly placed sources say that recently, the headquarters branch — the licensing authority for dance bars — issued the directive to 72 dance bars to submit fresh compliance certificates from the fire brigade as a mandatory requirement for license.
These are the bars that had applied for fresh licenses after the November 24 order of the Supreme Court, which ruled that if the applicants stood at a par with the three dance bars that have already been granted license, the competent authority shall consider their application on the concept of parity. “As they [dance bars] are applying for fresh licenses, they have to submit fresh fire compliance certificates . They can’t continue with the old NoC that was issued before 2005,” an officer from the headquarters branch said. He said the police were duty-bound to follow the fire safety norms. He said the fire brigade would conduct an audit of the dance bars and submit its report in a week’s time after receipt of the application for that purpose.