Dance bar HC asks police chief to consider pleas

Dance bar HC asks police chief to consider pleas

The High Court on Wednesday directed the Bangalore City Police Commissioner to consider within two months the application of a bar owner seeking permission to run a dance bar on his premises.

The petitioner, Chef Inn Regency Bar and Restaurant in Domlur, had submitted an application to the Police Commissioner on August 22, 2013 seeking permission to run dance bar on its premises. Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri passed an order on the petition challenging Rule 11 (1) of the Karnataka Excise Licences (General Conditions) Rules, 1967.

According to the Rule, “no gambling, dance, gathering, feast or any kind of entertainment or unlawful act shall be permitted in such licensed premises serving liquor.”  The bench, in its order, removed the word ‘dance’ in the said rules and disposed of the petition.

Chef Inn Regency Bar and Restaurant and two professional bar dancers, Guruvinder Kaur and Gurujeet Kaur had contended that the said Rule 11(1) violates the fundamental right to practise any profession.

The petitioner’s advocate M Krishnappa argued that the said rules violate Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India which allows to practise any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.  The advocate contended that the said rule deprived the bar owners the right to carry on their business and right of the bar dancers to carry on their profession.

The advocate also referred to the Supreme Court order where “dance” was protected by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution being a part of fundamental right of speech and expression. He also referred to several decisions of various High Courts which recognised that “dancing and cabaret” are protected rights under Article 19(1)(a).

The other two petitioners - professional bar dancers - had contended that were unemployed and their family members were starving due to the ban.

They said that they were merely imitating the dance steps and movements of Hindi and other movie actresses wearing traditional clothes and that they never wore dresses that were not modest.  

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