New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Jan 17: Finally Supreme Court has come out with a historic decision on dancing bars and has struck down all major hurdles put by the Maharashtra government. The Apex Court has relaxed the stringent conditions set by the Maharashtra government for getting licences for running dance bars and upheld the time of five-and-half hours for dance performances.The court modified the provisions of licencing under the 2016 order and overruled the ban on the functioning of dance bars in the state. The court said there cannot be a total prohibition on dance bars. No licence has been granted by Maharashtra since 2005. "There may be regulations but that should not amount to a total prohibition," the court said. Here are the main highlights of SC's decision:
1. Supreme Court quashed a rule that segregated dancing stage from the bar area where drinks are served. The Court has also struck down a condition by which dance bars should be 1 km away from educational and religious places.2. Supreme Court quashes conditions of Maharashtra government of putting CCTV cameras in dance bars of Mumbai, giving licence to people of good character as 'vague'.3. Supreme Court says, "There cannot be a total prohibition on dance bars. No licence has been granted by Maharashtra since 2005. There may be regulations but that should not amount to total prohibition."4. Mumbai Dance bar matter: Supreme Court allows orchestra, tips can be given but showering of cash and coins is not allowed inside bars.5. Supreme Court relaxes stringent conditions set by Maharashtra government for getting licences for running dance bars and upheld the time of five and half hours for dance performances.
The Story Earlier:
Maharashtra government, in an affidavit filed before the court, had earlier defended the operation of a new law meant to regulate licensing and functioning of dance bars in the state.The new law, Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016 had been challenged by hotel and restaurant owners before the apex court.The state government in its reply had said, "It was observed that such dances were derogatory to the dignity of women and were likely to deprave, corrupt or injure public morality."It was also brought to the notice of the state government that the places where such dances were staged were used as places for immoral activities and also as a place for solicitation for the purpose of prostitution".The state said that prevention of obscenity in public places is a part of public policy in India and was reflected in provision of Indian Penal Code (IPC)."Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (working therein) Act, 2016 gives effect to such Public Policy," it said.