The petition said what happens inside the bars is “not cultural dancing but obscenity.”
The court replied: “It is better to dance than to go to streets for begging or earning livelihood through unacceptable means. The mindset cannot be to prohibit…we are treating it as a performance of art.”
- Supreme Court was hearing a plea on reopening of dance bars in Mumbai
- Maharashtra Government was ordered to issue licences to dance bars from March 15
- Despite court’s nod, licences impossible to get as per present conditions: Dance bar associations doubts on ground reality
The court also said: “This is 2016. Dancing is an established profession. But if it becomes obscene, then it does not have legal sanctity.”
Hundreds of dance bars banned by Maharashtra in 2005 were given permission to reopen after the top court, responding to appeals against the ban, ordered that licences be given with conditions.
Despite the Supreme Court’s nod, dance bar associations say, the Maharashtra government has made it “impossible” to get licences.
About 139 bars and hotels in Mumbai, and about 1,200 in the state are applying for licences according to an industry lobby. Of those in Mumbai, 39 have been inspected but not cleared.
The Supreme Court asked the Maharashtra police to verify dance bar owners and workers within a week so they could get licences. It has also asked the government to check whether its conditions are being kept.
The Maharashtra government, which opposes dance bars on grounds of obscenity, had proposed more than two dozen conditions for new licences but the Supreme Court rejected some of them, including requiring a live stream to police stations.
Maharashtra Government wants a laws will be introduced with provisions for a fixed salary, the dancers will be dropped home after work and will have the right to choose working hours.
Instead, closed-circuit televisions will be installed at the entrance, with a limit of four dancers per bar, a railing around the performance area, and a distance of at least 5 feet (1.5 m) between the stage and customers.
“We cannot decide on subjective morality, obscenity is however defined,” the court said to the petition today.
Bouncers, in suit, watch over dance bar girls while a customer, far right, holds aloft money and dances at Elora Bar in Bombay, India, Wednesday, April 27, 2005. The dance bars of Bombay, a city also known as Mumbai, are for many the most prominent part of its nightlife.
Thousands of men visit them each night, watching and throwing money at young girls in titillating clothes as they gyrate to songs from Bollywood, the popular Indian film industry. There are some 700 dance bars in Bombay and 650 in the rest of the state employing some 75,000 dance girls while police claim that many of the bars double as pick-up joints.
In 2005 the then Congress party-led state government ordered the closure of hundreds of bars across western Maharashtra state on grounds that the bars corrupted the youth.
So night life of Mumbai will have colors or not will be decided by Maharashtra Government in coming days mean while it is advantage Dance Lovers of Mumbai.
Photo Credit:(AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi) & INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images