In a major relief to dance bar owners in Maharashtra, the Supreme Court on Thursday relaxed the stringent rules imposed on dance bars by the state government. The apex court quashed the strict provisions under (Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016 ). The law also imposed heavy penalties on those who failed to follow the rules.
What did the ruling say?
The court observed that dance bars can’t be banned in the name of regulation as it amounts to moral policing by the state.
Why was the judgement passed?
The court was concerned since not a single person has been given a dance bar licence since 2005 which had affected the livelihoods of 75,000 performers.
What does that change?
1. Dance bars can be within 1 km radius from
a) educational institutions
b) religious places
2. Performers can be given tips but can’t be ‘showered’ with cash
3. No compulsory installation of CCTV cameras since it can violate privacy
4. Dance bars can serve liquor
5. Owners don’t have to prove that have a “good character” as the court said that there is no precise definition of what amounts to good character and criminal antecedents.