Dance bars set to reopen in Maharashtra after Supreme Court order in favour


Saying that there cannot be a complete prohibition on dance bars in Maharashtra, the Supreme Court on Thursday relaxed stringent rules prescribed by the state government that led to a virtual shutdown of these centres. Modifying some provisions of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016, that imposed restrictions on licensing and functioning of dance bars in the state, a bench led by Justice AK Sikri said: The state, thereby, is aiming to achieve something indirectly which it could not do directly. Such a situation is beyond comprehension and cannot be countenanced It also noted that no licence has been granted by the state government since 2005. It diluted the 2016 law by doing away with restrictions like the requirement of a partition between the dancing area and the bar\/restaurant area, ban on serving alcohol in the dance stage area. The rule requiring that a licence be granted to those possessing a The apex court upheld the condition of allowing dance bars to operate between 6 pm to 11.30 pm and not allowing installation of CCTV cameras inside dance bars, as it violates privacy. Giving tips to dancers was also allowed with restriction placed on showering of money on the performers. On the government fixing salaries of performers at bars, the bench said, This is a matter entirely between employee and employers. Therefore, this condition is also held to be arbitrary and unreasonable and is quashed, with liberty to the Maharashtra government to prescribe the distance from educational and religious institutions, which is reasonable and workable. The 2016 law was passed by the state Assembly to circumvent a Supreme Court judgment of 2015 that lifted the ban on dance bars and classified dance as a profession. The 2015 SC order had come as a relief for women who had lost their jobs and slipped into prostitution and penury due to the clampdown after the state Assembly, in July 2014, circumvented a 2013 SC decision that had also upheld that Thursdays ruling came on a batch of petitions by restaurant and hotel owners, including the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (IHRA) and women working in Maharashtra Also read: It further alleged that the 2016 law circumvented several orders of the Supreme Court, which ruled that bars could host dances, as long as they weren The Bharatiya Bargirls However, the Maharashtra government told the apex court that the new law was to regulate licensing and functioning of dance bars and prevent obscenity in public places which is a part of public policy in India. It also added that

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