We Work In Dance Bars As Per Our Wishes: Women Hail the SC Verdict

The Quint spoke to some women working in a Mumbai bar to know what they thought about the verdict.

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The Supreme Court on Thursday, 17 January, paved the way for the return of dance bars in Maharashtra, quashing some of the stringent restrictions imposed by the state government that made it virtually impossible to get licenses for these entertainment establishments.

Holding that there can be “regulations” but not “total prohibition”, the SC’s verdict came as a relief to dance bar owners and employees, as it also overturned the rule that prohibited serving alcohol in the bars, reported PTI.

The bench, however, upheld the provision restricting the timing of operation of dance bars from 6 pm to 11:30 pm.

The apex court set aside the condition to mandatorily install CCTV cameras in dance bars, saying it violates privacy. It also said the rule of giving licence to open a dance bar on the basis of a person’s good character was “vague”.

The court also allowed payment of tips to performers in dance bars, but said no to showering of currency notes or coins on dancers.

In this context, The Quint spoke to women working in a Mumbai bar to know what they thought about the verdict. The women hailed the SC ruling.

The verdict was also welcomed by Bharatiya Bar Girls’ Union President Varsha Kale, who has been fighting for the cause of bar dancers. She said the ruling was a great “victory” since some of the dancers were forced to join the flesh trade.

Manjit Singh Sethi, who spearheaded the fight to re-open dance bars and moved the Bombay High Court earlier, also welcomed the decision.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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