Maharashtra Governor S M Krishna on Thursday sent an ordinance seeking to ban dance bars in the state back to the government.
A press release issued by Raj Bhavan on Thursday afternoon said the governor did not think it fit to sign the Bombay Police (Amendment) Ordinance, 2005 because it was not an urgent matter and could wait till July 11 when both Houses of the Legislature meet.
The press release said that though Article 213 of the Constitution empowers the governor to promulgate ordinances, this power is not absolute.
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"The power conferred on the governor to issue ordinances is in the nature of an emergency power which is vested in the governor for taking immediate action where such action may become necessary at a time when the legislature is not in session," it added.
The governor's refusal to sign the ordinance is a big setback for the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government, particularly its Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, who has made it his mission to shut dance bars in Mumbai.
The ordinance will now be introduced as a Bill in the Legislature.
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Welcoming the governor's decision to send the ordinance back, Bharatiya Bargirls Union chief Varsha Kale said: "The government should rehabilitate bargirls first and then go for closure of dance bars. I am sure many legislators will support our stand."
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vinod Tawde said the party will support the ordinance in the assembly. "We want a ban on dance bars," he added.
Deputy CM Patil said said his government would make all efforts to get the Bill cleared in the monsoon session of the state legislature.