The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the Maharashtra government for not giving licenses to dance bars due to conditions put up by the state including timing and location of the bars. The court said it is better for women to perform dance in bars than to beg on streets or doing “unacceptable” works to earn their livelihood.
The apex court asked the Maharashtra government to allow women to dance in bars with dignity and keep a regulatory check on the profession, not to put prohibition on it. So far, there are at least 154 bar application on hold.
The move came after the court’s bench of justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh were hearing a PIL filed by a hotel and restaurant association against the state government’s orders to provide a live feed of the dance to the nearest police station.
“Dance is a profession. It becomes legally impermissible if it becomes obscene. There are other regulatory mechanisms.

Don’t work with the mindset of prohibiting it,” the court told the additional solicitor general Pinky Anand. The court also asked her to advise the state that it “cannot take away someone’s constitutional right.
As per the Dance Bar Regulation Bill, passed in the Maharashtra Assembly unanimously on April 13, have mandatory conditions for bar owners including recording of performances, dance bars cannot operate within 1 km of an educational institution, limited bar timings between 6pm and 11.30pm and stipulate no liquor will be served in the performance area.

The bill also has provisions for strict actions can be taken against the violators.
The new law also states that owners or operators of the dance bars may face up to five years imprisonment and up to Rs 25,000 fine for violating rules.

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