Yes, you heard it right. The supreme court of India has ruled the above while pulling up on Maharashtra government for not issuing the dance bar licenses. The dance bars has already been banned in Maharashtra and the new Dance Bar Regulation Bill which was unanimously passed in the assembly on 12th April had made the situation more severe. Will the ruling of the supreme court have any effects on the Maharashtra government? Read here.
According to the news published in Maharashtra Times The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Maharashtra government for not granting a license to dance bars and warned it not to overstep its powers by defying the apex court order. The apex court has criticized the state government for framing the rules that prohibit the opening of the new dance bars within the distance of 1KM from educational institutions.
The Supreme Court in its ruling mentioned that “Dance is a profession. If it is obscene, then it loses its legal sanctity. However, the government regulatory measures can’t be prohibitory. It’s better for women to perform in dance bars than begging on streets or indulging in unacceptable activities.”
The Maharastra government on 12th April passed the bill in assembly with stringent clauses for the violators. According to the new bill, the accountability relies on the owners in case of violations of rules, exploitation of women employees or case of obscenity. Owners or operators face up to up to five years in jail and fines of up to Rs 25,000 for violations. Separate rules are being formulated on this, based on the provisions of the Bill.
According to the new conditions, dance bars must be at least a kilometer from any education or religious institution, their timings restricted between 6pm and 11.30pm, and liquor not to be served in the performance area. The bill also bans running bars in the residential buildings and permits them in semi-residential ones provided the consent of three-fourth of the people residing I that complex.
The bill has also made the provision to repeal amendments under section 33 (A) of the Maharashtra Police Act that was earlier struck down by Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, during hearings between October 2015 and March 2016, struck down two amendments through which the Maharashtra government banned dance bars.
The court, however, clarified the Maharashtra government has the power to contain ‘obscenity’ and safeguard women who work at the bars. Following this, the Maharashtra cabinet decided to bring in a new law to regulate dance bars.