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SC Paves Way For Opening Of Dance Bars In Maharashtra, Sets Few Restrictions

PRERNA YADAV | 0
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| January 17 , 2019 , 13:44 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday paved way for the opening of dance bars in Maharashtra setting aside certain provisions of a law imposing restrictions on the licensing and functioning of dance bars in Maharashtra.

The top court said dance and liquor can go together. It passed its verdict in the validity of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016 like the mandatory installation of CCTV and a partition between barrooms and the dance floor.

"There cannot be a total prohibition on dance bars. No license has been granted by Maharashtra since 2005. There may be regulations but that should not amount to a total prohibition," SC said in its verdict.

It allowed the payment of tips to performers but made it clear that showering of currency notes cannot be allowed.

It quashed the provision mandating that dance bars in Maharashtra should be one kilometer away from religious places and educational institutions.

The time of five and a half hours for dance performances was upheld.

Earlier, a bench of Justice A K Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan reserved the argument in August 2018 after hearing the pleas of interested parties. The bench said there is 'total moral policing' in the state which hasn't allowed dance bars to function despite repeated orders by the Supreme Court.