Dance bars to reopen in Maharashtra as SC puts ban on hold


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The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed a state law banning dance bars in Maharashtra, observing the new law is very similar to the one the court had struck down in 2013.

A bench led by Justice Dipak Misra, however, added that the Maharashtra police will ensure that dignity of women was not affected by the dance performances and that the licensing authority will also regulate indecent dance performances.

The order has been passed by the court as it heard a contempt plea against a 2014-amenndment to the Bombay Police Act and the refusal of the licensing authority to let dance bars re-open even after the previous law was held bad by the court. The bench will hear the case in detail on November 6.

Last year, ostensibly to nullify the SC ruling that had paved the way for dance bar owners lift their shutters once again, the Congress-led Maharashtra government had cleared an amendment to plug the legal loophole, which had led the court quash the ban in 2013. The state cabinet decided to extend the ban to high-end hotels and private clubs too and the new law will hence affect a total ban on dance bars and dance performances.

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