The bar owners failed to get respite from the Bombay high court, which rejected their petition seeking an increase in the number of female artistes in the orchestra.
A division bench, comprising justice BD Bhosale and justice UD Salvi, on Friday dismissed the petitions and said that they would pass a reasoned order later.
The court had said on Thursday that it is not inclined to interfere with the restrictions imposed on bar owners by the Maharashtra government, apprehending that they may be converted into dance bars.
The court had even expressed concern over the safety of women artistes who work till late in the bars, which are open till 1.30am.
The government has allowed bar owners to have only four male and four women artists in the orchestra. The bar owners had approached the high court, challenging the restriction.
The high court had observed: “We do not find there is any need to interfere with the rules. We feel there is rational behind imposing such conditions.”
RD Soni, petitioners’ advocate, argued that there was no basis in the statutes that decided the number of artistes.
Soni also argued that some bars might have bigger space and a bigger stage, justifying the need for more artistes.
The court said: “We don’t know what activity you might indulge in after midnight. You may turn it into a dance bar. We can’t allow you to do that under the guise of this licence (permitting more women artistes).”
The court however dismissed the arguments. It also did not agree with the arguments forwarded by the petitioners, that the restriction was violating fundamental rights of women under Article 14 of the Constitution of India.