Mumbai: In state of Maharashtra, dance bars have been banned keeping in mind the provisions of Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016.
- A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and Mohan M Shantanagoudar will be hearing the petition.
- The three dance bars given licences on Monday are Indiana in Tardeo, and Aero Punjab and Sai Prasad in Andheri.
- In November, the Supreme Court said the state should consider granting dance bar licenses under rules set in 2014, and not under the 2016 law [Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (working therein) Act].
- “Bhartiya Bargirls Union” has filed a fresh plea has termed the new Act as arbitrary and violative of their right to earn a livelihood through legitimate means.
- They claim that the term ‘obscene dance’ has been kept vague in the Act, so that the police can harass dancers.
The Bhartiya Bargirls Union pleaded that, “The act of tipping or giving gifts as a token of appreciation has been customary and an integral part of traditional dance culture. This decades-old practice is akin to those performing Mujra, Lavani (traditional Marathi song and dance) or Tamasha (traditional Marathi theatre) where performers earn their living through ‘bakshisi’ offered by the audience as a token of appreciation of the performances”.
Provisional licenses given to the three had lapsed last August as they couldn’t fulfil norms under the new dance bar law. In last two months, police have received more than 70 applications for re-opening of dance bars. The police are scrutinizing their applications. Keeping in mind the old norms of the Act, the supreme court has given back the license to three dance bars. Although, dance bar owners are waiting for the final verdict in order to act for the same.