SC clears path for dance bars to re-open in Maharashtra, but tells cops to ensure 'no obscenity'

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the operation of Maharashtra Police Act that prohibited dance performances at eating places, beer bars and restaurants.

FP Staff October 15, 2015 13:51:07 IST
SC clears path for dance bars to re-open in Maharashtra, but tells cops to ensure 'no obscenity'

New Delhi: Potentially clearing the path for outlawed dance bars in the state, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the operation of Maharashtra Police Act that prohibited dance performances at eating places, beer bars and restaurants.

The apex court, while ordering the stay, said that the Maharashtra police would ensure that women's dignity was not affected by the working of the dance bars, NDTV reported.

SC clears path for dance bars to reopen in Maharashtra but tells cops to ensure no obscenity

Representational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

Noting that the provision was brought back in the Maharashtra Police Act in 2014 after being held ultra vires in 2013 by the apex court, the bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Prafulla C Pant said that it is "appropriate to stay the provision" that prohibits the dance performances.

However, the court made it clear that the dance performances should not be remotely explicit or have kind of obscenity.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, said the government would abide by the court's decision.

"The state government believes that the law it had passed on dance bars was appropriate," he said.

In 2009, the Supreme Court had struck down a similar law, after which the state government passed a fresh law in 2014, the Times of India reported.

While setting aside the ban on dance bars, the Supreme Court had questioned why the state government did not consider it indecent for women to be working as receptionists or bartenders at such bars, the Hindustan Times reported.

With inputs from IANS

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