Maharashtra to appeal SC decision allowing reopening of dance bars

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 16, 2015 01:23 IST
Dance bars are back in business with some regulations after the Supreme Court's order. (HT Photo)

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday said his government will go in appeal, shortly after the Supreme Court stayed a 2014 amendment to the state police act banning dance performances in bars and some other places.

“Although SC interim order mandates regulation instead of ban on dance bars, Govt still favours ban. We will examine & press our demand in SC, “ Fadnavis tweeted shortly after the apex court removed the ban and allowed licencing authorities to regulate indecent dance performances.

The bench of justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant said it is “appropriate to stay the provision” that prohibits the dance performances and noted the said provision was brought back in the Maharashtra Police Act in 2014 after being held ultra vires in 2013 by the top court.

“However, we have a rider that no performance of dance will be remotely expressive of any kind of obscenity...the licensing authority can regulate such dance performances so that individual dignity of woman performer is not harmed,” the bench said.

The apex court fixed the petition filed by Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association for final hearing on November 5 adding that a similar matter had already been decided in 2013.

The Maharashtra government had reintroduced the law in 2014 to bypass an SC judgment which had struck down a similar law a year ago. The SC had in April 2013 upheld the right of women bar dancers to follow their profession and dismissed the state government’s appeal to ban them.

The court had then questioned why Maharashtra did not find it indecent or derogatory to the dignity of women if they worked as a receptionist, waitress or bartender at such bars and backed the Bombay high court verdict quashing the 2005 ban.

Read More:

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