SC Raps Maharashtra for Not Granting Licenses to Dance Bars

\"...it is better for women to perform then begging on streets or doing something unacceptable for earning livelihood.\"

Published: 25th April 2016 08:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2016 08:32 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today rapped the Maharashtra government for not granting licenses to dance bars on account of non-compliance of some conditions and said it is better for women to perform then begging on streets or doing something "unacceptable" for earning livelihood.

A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh dealt with certain pre-conditions for grant of licenses to dance bars and said, "conditions subsequent cannot be equated with condition precedents".

"It is better to perform in the dance bars then begging in the street or doing some unacceptable things for livelihood," it said, adding that the state has to protect the women's dignity at the work place.

"What is this? Why have you not complied with our order.

What certificates you (Maharashtra) want? I had told you last time that you must maintain constitutional norms," it said.

The bench, however, acknowledged the plea of Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for Maharashtra, that state has to ensure that there is no "obscenity" in dance bars and the dignity of women is protected there.

Dealing with contentious conditions, it asked both dance bar owners and the police to comply with mutually-agreed terms which were part of earlier court orders.

It asked all dance bars to get criminal antecedents of their employees checked by local police, besides installing CCTV cameras at all entry points of dance bars.

The court also asked dance bars to adhere to conditions like there should be railings to demarcate performance area with the place where audience will sit and watch.

Simultaneously, it ordered police not to ask the dance bar applicants to furnish NoCs from municipal bodies, health and fire departments on the grounds that these documents must have been sought when the hotel or restaurants had come into being.

At the out set, the ASG said that over 150 applications for grant of licenses have been received and only 39 offered themselves for inspection.

She also said that some of the dance bars have partly complied with the conditions, leading the court to ask about the specific terms.

The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on May 10.

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