Supreme Court strikes down Maharashtra government’s stringent rules on dance bars

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The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down stringent guidelines stipulated by the Maharashtra government on dance bars operating in Mumbai.

dance bars

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan delivered their judgement while hearing a host of petitions filed by various bar owners and Bharatiya Bargirls Union against the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016.

The two-judge bench turned down the Maharashtra government’s order to install CCTV cameras inside dance bars saying that this amounted to violation of privacy. It also quashed the rule that mandated segregation of dance area from the area where drinks are served quashed.

Another strict rule by the state government on only persons with good character with no criminal antecedents too was turned down as the top court said that the g’good character’ was too vague a term.

The court, according to Livelaw website, also quashed the condition stating that dance bars should not be allowed within one kilometer radius from educational institutions and religious places. Condition was found to be ‘unworkable’ in Mumbai city.

While the Supreme Court bench upheld the timing restriction between 6 pm and 11.30 pm, it set aside the rule imposing prohibition on serving liquour in dance bars.

The Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016 was passed in 2016 after the Court quashed a previous government order that dealt with licencing and operation of such establishments.

 

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