The Supreme Court on Thursday set aside the Maharashtra government's stringent condition to mandatorily install CCTVs in dance bars across the state, saying it violates privacy. The top court also modified some other provisions of 2016 Maharashtra law imposing restrictions on licensing and functioning of dance bars in the state. It also quashed the provision mandating that Maharashtra dance bars should be 1 km away from religious places and educational institutions. However, people have been directed not to shower currency notes on dance floors and instead give tips to performers.
"Mumbai Dance bar matter: Supreme Court relaxes stringent conditions set by Maharashtra government for getting licences for running dance bars and upheld the time of five and half hours for dance performances," the news agency ANI reported.
Mumbai Dance bar matter: Supreme Court relaxes stringent conditions set by Maharashtra government for getting licences for running dance bars and upheld the time of five and half hours for dance performances. pic.twitter.com/VokxHV8Ab0â€” ANI (@ANI) January 17, 2019
A bench comprising Justice AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan quashed certain provisions of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016 like the mandatory installation of CCTVs and a partition between bar rooms and the dance floor.
The top court also upheld the condition fixing the timing of dance bars in the state from 6 pm to 11.30 pm.
"You talk about prurient interest of audience in the rules. But if the enforcer has a mindset then he would find even a moralistic dance obscene or immoral," Justice Sikri told senior advocate Shekhar Naphade who is defending the law.