Mumbai: The Supreme Court on Monday came down on Maharashtra government for not granting license to dance bars and warned not to turn blind eye to the apex court order.
The court also criticized the state government for framing rules that prohibit opening of dance bars within a distance of 1 km from educational institutions.
"Dance is a profession. If it is obscene, then it loses its legal sanctity. Govt regulatory measures can't be prohibitory," the Supreme Court told Maharashtra government.
"It is better for women to perform in dance bars and earn than begging on streets or indulging in unacceptable activities," the top court added.
The Supreme Court had recently cleared the decks for the issuance of dance bar licenses to hotels and restaurants in Mumbai as it modified the conditions for the permit and excluded installation of CCTV cameras from restaurants and dance performance area.
In 2005, the state government banned dance bars in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra. Nearly 1,500 bars across the state had employed more than 75,000 women dancers.
(With ANI inputs)