A day after the Bombay high court slammed the state over its 9.30pm deadline for women working in bars, the state government decided to do some introspection on its existing laws.
Sources in the home department said they have decided to meet to take stock of this labour law and examine whether it was archaic. “The state’s legislation is aimed at the safety of women. We will take a review of the situation in light of court observations,” said a senior official.
The court had made observations in a petition, which had challenged this prohibition made in the Bombay Shops and Establishment Act. It had also questioned the state’s logic that more crimes are likely at night.
The police do not have a separate compilation of crime against women in the day vis-a-vis the night. A home department official told HT that in a recent review, instructions had been given that no exceptions should be made to the laws. “Four south Mumbai bars had been granted exemption and were allowed to keep waitresses beyond 9.30pm. This has been stopped,” said a senior home department official.
The thinking, however, in the government is that as a society, we are not ready to handle women and men working on equal terms. “Women IAS officials are often told they may not be suited for a particular assignment as it involves late hours,” said a woman bureaucrat.