Supreme Court allows Mumbai dance bars to reopen

New Delhi, July 16 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the Bombay High Court's verdict quashing the Maharashtra government's decision to ban dance bars in the state.

However, dance bar owners will have to get a licence from the state government before reopening.

Dance bars were banned in the state of Maharashtra, in August 2005, with the passing of the Bombay Police (Amendment) Act, 2005. Subsequently, the state government shut down dance bars.

Mumbai alone had 700 dance bars at their peak in April 2005 when the ban first came in. Though officially only 307 dance bars existed, the rest were illegal; while the figures for rest of the state was 650 dance bars in total. In all they employed 150,000 people, including 75,000 bar girls.

In April 2006, the Bombay High Court lifted the ban on dance bars imposed by the state government saying that the ban was discriminatory and violated the right to equality.

In May 2006, the state government had obtained a stay against the high court judgement.

--IBNS (Posted on 16-07-2013)

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