SC seeks govt reply on law regulating dance bars

SC seeks govt reply on law regulating dance bars

SC seeks govt reply on law regulating dance bars

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought Maharashtra government’s response to a plea challenging provisions of the new “stringent” law regulating dance bars in the state, including prohibition of showering money on dancers.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and C Nagappan rejected the contention raised by the state government’s counsel Shekhar Naphade that petitioner, Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association, should be asked to approach the Bombay High Court instead of filing their plea before the apex court.

The court asked the Maharashtra government to reply by September 21 on the petitioner’s plea for interim stay on provisions for installing CCTV in bars and prohibiting the owners from serving alcoholic beverages.

The court refrained from passing any interim order after Naphade contended it would be improper as the state government was yet to submit its response.

Strongly defending the new law and a set of rules, the state government’s counsel maintained that a place of entertainment was always treated as a public place, which could be put under CCTV surveillance.

Senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, appearing for the association, submitted the rules framed under the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Bars and Hotels and Protection of Dignity of Women Act, 2016, were “absolutely unreasonable” and ran contrary to the apex court verdict of 2013 upholding the dancers’ fundamental right to practice their profession.

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