Supreme Court Relaxes Norms For Dance Bars In Maharashtra

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday eased the rules regarding licenses for dance bars in Maharashtra by stating that liquor and dance can co-exist, paving way for opening of dance bars in Mumbai and other cities of Maharashtra.

The apex court said there cannot be a total prohibition on dance bars by imposing unreasonable conditions as no license has been granted since 2005 and that no dance bar is functioning in the state.

The Maharashtra Government’s Lawyer welcomed the judgement and said dance bar license will be given to anyone who fulfils the conditions set by the Court.

The Supreme Court has mandated that performers at dance bars can be paid tips but cannot be showered with cash. It also upheld the condition fixing the timing of dance bars in the state from 6 pm to 11.30 pm.

The rule of partition between bar rooms and dance floor was cancelled by the court. Compulsory installation of CCTV Cameras was also struck down by the court on grounds that it violates privacy.

The Supreme Court also cancelled a provision that said the owner of the dance bar should have a “good character” and no “criminal antecedents” as “there is no precise definition of what amounts to good character and criminal antecedents,” the court said.

Notably, the Dance Bar Regulation Bill unanimously passed by the Maharashtra Assembly in 2016 banned serving liquor in performance areas and mandated that the premises must shut by 11:30 pm. It also imposed heavy penalties on dance bar owners and customers for not following these rules.

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