Supreme Court Stays Ban on Dance Bars in Maharashtra

The SC today stayed the 2014 amendment in the Maharashtra Police Act that had banned dance bars across the state.

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The Supreme Court today stayed the operation of 2014 amendment in the Maharashtra Police Act that had banned dance performances at bars and some other places, paving the way for reopening of dance bars across the state.

The court however added a rider to its interim order and allowed the licensing authorities in the state to regulate indecent dance performances at bars and other places.

The apex court has now fixed the petition filed by Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association for final hearing on November 5 and said that the matter pertaining to the similar issue had already been decided by this court in 2013.

The Maharashtra government had brought an amendment in 2005 – the Bombay Police Act – which was challenged in high court by an association representing restaurants and bars.

The Bombay High Court on 12 April 2006 had quashed the government’s decision and declared the provision as unconstitutional saying that it is against Article 19(1)(g) (to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business) of the constitution.

However, the state government had moved the apex court against the high court’s order that same year.

On 16 July 2013, the Supreme Court upheld the Bombay High Court verdict quashing the state government’s order and had said that the ban violated the constitutional right to earn a living.

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