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SC paves the way for reopening of Maharashtra dance bars

SC paves the way for reopening of Maharashtra dance bars
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New Delhi: Stating that there can be "regulations" but not "total prohibition", the Supreme Court on Thursday paved the way for the reopening of dance bars in Maharashtra by setting aside some provisions of a 2016 law imposing restrictions on their licensing and functioning.

Clearing the path for licences allowing dance bars to operate, an apex court bench headed by Justice A K Sikri permitted them to be located a kilometre away from religious places and educational institutions.

The court allowed tips to performers but disallowed showering of currency on them.

The apex court quashed the provisions of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016, like the mandatory installations of CCTV cameras in the dance bars saying they violated privacy.

The bench, however, upheld the provision restricting the timing of operation of dance bars from 6 pm to 11.30 pm.

It also quashed the provision of the 2016 law which mandated that there must be a partition between bar rooms and the dance floor.

The NCP Thursday accused the Maharashtra government of presenting a weak side before the Supreme Court on the dance bar ban due to its alleged nexus with the association of bar owners.

It also demanded that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis takes immediate legal steps to ensure that dance bars do not start operating in the state once again.

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