In a historic decision, Supreme Court has allowed dance bars to function in Maharashtra again. It has put on hold a 2014 law, which imposed a ban on operation of dance bars in the state.
SC, however, has given power to licensing authorities to regulate indecent dance performances. This is an interim order and the final order will be given on November 9.
The ban was first introduced in 2005 and was struck down by the apex court in 2013 calling it unconstitutional. However, the then ruling Congress- NCP government amended the Maharashtra Police Act and restored the ban. The government’s action was challenged in court by Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (Ahar) .
By some estimates, about 75000 girls were involved in this profession when the ban was enforced. The petitioners argued that Section 33A of the Act which the SC held as violative of women’s fundamental rights, was again back with slightly different wordings.
Reacting to the order, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said