Womanist Organisation of India and Bharatiya Bar Girls Union have submitted a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking the abolition of the 9.30 pm deadline on women working in bars and restaurants.
“Women are now working round the clock in airlines, hospitals, call centres, MTNL and other government and semi-government establishments,” the petition said.
“The deadline is absurd. In all offices women are seen working till late and call centres have night shifts,” said Veena Thadani, the organisations’ counsel.
The two organisations have also challenged the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949, which prohibits women from working in permit rooms after 8.30 pm.
After the ban on dance bars came into effect, women working in restaurants and bars are not allowed in the establishments after 9.30 pm. The petition said the women “are harassed and arrested and falsely charged for indecent behaviour”. Women singing in live orchestras are also not allowed to perform after 9.30 pm.
The petition alleged that false cases are lodged against restaurant owners if they protests against police action.
The union has been actively involved in helping women against contracting sexually transmitted diseases like Aids and living a life of dignity.