Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi/Mumbai: Eight years after the Maharashtra government banned dance bars in Mumbai, the Supreme Court on Tuesday gave its go-ahead to their reopening in the maximum city and elsewhere in the state.
Deciding on the constitutionality of the ban on dance performances in bars in Maharashtra imposed under the Bombay Police (Amendment) Act of 2005, the apex court gave its order in favour of the bar owners and dancers’ union who had contended that the ban on bar dances in some establishments while permitting them in others was contrary to the rule of equality enshrined in Article 14.
The Act had prohibited ‘any type of dancing’ in an “eating house, permit room or beer bar” while allowing dance performances in three star and above hotels and other ‘elite’ establishments.
The Supreme Court had taken up the case after the state government contested the 2006 Bombay High Court order that the Act prohibiting dancing violated the right to carry on one’s profession under Article 19 of the Constitution. The HC also held that banning dances in some establishments while permitting them in others was contrary to the rule of equality.
The state government had sought to justify the ban in public interest, alleging that bar dancing is obscene and vulgar and depraves morals, fuels trafficking and prostitution and causes exploitation of women who dance in the bars.