Maharashtra to reply to Supreme Court notice on dance bars

A day after the Supreme Court issued contempt notices to the Maharashtra state government and home ministry for not processing necessary licenses required to run dance bars, a home ministry official said that the reply will be sent in next 15 days.

The Indian Restaurant and Bar Association had moved the contempt petition against the state government for not complying with the apex court’s order of July 2013.

The official from the home ministry added that the state government had taken legal opinion from the experts and necessary reply will be given.

The Supreme Court had upheld the Bombay High Court verdict of 2006 which quashed the Maharashtra state government’s decision to ban the dance bars.

The court had then said that a complete ban on girls dancing in the bars in the name of ensuring safety of women and curbing obscenity was an overreaction, and also reflected lack of thinking to search for viable alternatives.

In 2005, the state government introduced an amendment to the Bombay Police Act. The government claimed that it was “giving rise to the exploitation of women,” and that dancing was both “derogatory to the dignity of women” and “likely to deprave, corrupt or injure public morality or morals.”

The state government had approached the Supreme Court after the High Court lifted the ban and the apex court had asked the dance bars to remain shut till the final verdict was out.

Despite the SC verdict in July 2013, the state home minister R R Patil had said that the government was firm on banning dance bars. “We have sought legal opinion from experts in Delhi and Mumbai. The state government is of the view that the ban on dance bars should continue,” the home minister had said in the state assembly.

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Printable version | Aug 18, 2022 7:57:15 am |