SC permits reopening of dance bars in Mumbai; bans showering of cash in them

Deciding the future of thousands of entertainers, dancers, and singers; The Supreme Court passed its verdict in the legality of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016 today.

SC permits reopening of dance bars in Mumbai; bans showering of cash in them SC permits reopening of dance bars in Mumbai; bans showering of cash in them Source : press

Deciding the future of thousands of entertainers, dancers, and singers; The Supreme Court passed its verdict in the legality of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016 today. 


The verdict was announced after the apex court heard the pleas of hotel and restaurant owners and an association of women dancers, waitresses, singers and other performers who had challenged the Act. 


The Supreme Court of India on Monday relaxed stringent conditions set by Maharashtra government for getting licenses for running dance bars in Mumbai. The apex court also upheld the time of five and a half hours for dance performances.


The SC also gave a reprieve to dance bar owners by ruling that the dance bar can organize orchestra's and the patrons can give tips to bar dancers; however, said that showering of cash and coins will not be allowed inside bars.


The bars in the state will, however, be permitted to function only between 6:00 PM and 11:30 PM and has slashed the installation of CCTV camera's in the bars stating that such an act ‘violates the privacy of the bars'.


The country's apex court has ruled," There cannot be a total prohibition on dance bars. No license has been granted by Maharashtra since 2005. There may be regulations but that should not amount to a total prohibition." 


The court has slashed the state decision prohibiting dance bars from being present within one kilometer from educational and religious places. The court ruling further said," It is an unreasonable condition to impose in a place like Mumbai. Let the legislature to prescribe a reasonable distance."


Giving its verdict on the payments that the dance bars will be making to the dancers; the apex court has said," a dance bar can have a written contract with a dancer but the government cannot fix a monthly salary for the dancers. This is a matter entirely between employee and employers."


The verdict was announced by a bench of justices AK Sikri, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer.