Maharashtras dance bars may soon spring back to life with the Supreme Court today staying the operation of a state law banning it on the condition that performances will not be obscene even as the government said it will press for continuance of the ban.
“We think it appropriate to stay the provisions section 33 (A)(1) of the Maharashtra Police (second amendment) Act,” a division bench of the court comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla Chandra Pant said in an order that would come as a big relief to thousands of bar dancers and restaurateurs.
The order, however, came with a rider that performances should not be even “remotely expressive of any kind of obscenity” and gave the licencing authority the power to regulate those.
“However, we have a rider that no performance of dance will be remotely expressive of any kind of obscenity…the licensing authority can regulate such dance performances so that individual dignity of woman performer is not harmed,” the bench said.
The apex court has now fixed the petition filed by Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association for final hearing on November 5 and said that the matter pertaining to the similar issue had already been decided by this court in 2013.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Maharashtra said at the outset that interim relief may be granted to the Association.
Reacting to the order, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state government will press its demand in the apex court for continuing the ban on dance performances in bars and other places.
“Although the Supreme Courts interim order mandates regulation instead of ban on dance bars, the (state) government still favours a ban,” Fadnavis said in Mumbai.
“We will examine and press our demand in the Supreme Court,” he said.
( Source – News )