The future of Indian dance bars
India

The future of Indian dance bars

27 Feb 2017 | By NewsBytes Desk

Maharashtra bar workers' association move SC against ban on dancers

Under the banner 'Bharatiya Bargirls Union', Maharashtra's bar workers, including singers and waitresses, have moved the Supreme Court, challenging a 2016 state law prohibiting dances by women in such places.

Saying the law stigmatized their work, the association said the state's deliberately-vague definition of 'obscene dance' allowed law enforcers to target and harass women performers.

Similar performances are common at weddings, it submitted.

Timeline

16 Jul 2013: Dance bars to re-open after 8 years

The Supreme Court sustained Bombay High Court's order that allowed dance bar owners to reapply for licences.

The dance bars were re-opened after 8 years of ban by the state government.

The ban in April 2005 had put 1.5 lakh people out of job, including 70,000 bar girls.

The government's logic was that dance bars were a bad influence on society and encouraged prostitution.

13 Sep 2014: SC to hear plea against dance bar ban

SC to hear plea against dance bar ban

Supreme Court agreed to hear a plea against the renewed ban on dance bars and issued a notice to the state which is to be answered in four weeks.

The plea mentioned that the new law was brought in to nullify the SC order that had stayed the ban.

Women's rights groups had described the ban as "arbitrary, discriminatory and unreasonable moral policing".

26 Nov 2015: SC asks Maharashtra government to give dance-bar licences

The Supreme Court asked the Maharashtra government to settle on applications that sought licences for dance bars in 2 weeks.

Maharashtra government told the SC that its ruling will be adhered to and all "eligible hoteliers will be given licences."

Government had claimed that bars were leading to alcoholism in youngsters and hence had withheld licenses to put a stop.

16 Mar 2016: 4 Mumbai dance bars get permits to operate

4 dance bars in Mumbai got the licence from the state government on the orders of SC, 11 years after they were first closed down.

It will take another 4-5 days for these bars to become operational.

They need the 'Rangabhoomi licence' from the cultural affairs ministry and police verification before they open.

16 more bars are expected to get permits in 2-3 days.

30 Mar 2016: Maharashtra government imposes more rules for dance bars

Maharashtra government imposes more rules for dance bars

Despite SC's ruling on dance bars, the Maharashtra government has decided to impose strict conditions to regulate the dance bars.

In the draft of the new bill, provision of CCTV cameras was made compulsory.

No bars can come up within 1km of any educational or religious institution.

Further, the bars will be asked to restrict operation till 11.30pm (any violation would invite a fine).

28 Apr 2016: Maha: Will abide by SC dance bar order

Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has said that the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government in the state would adhere by the Supreme Court's remarks on the dance bar issue.

The SC told the Maharashtra government that "government's measures can't be prohibitory," as dance is a profession and an art form.

The Maharashtra Government assured the apex court that the state government's rules would be revised.

11 May 2016: SC-Maharashtra: Approve 8 dance bars by 12 May

The Supreme Court has directed the Maharashtra government to grant licenses to eight dance bars in the next two days, stipulating strict conditions for the same.

The conditions include getting an undertaking by bar owners that employees with criminal records would not be allowed near the dance area.

The SC has given until today to receive the undertakings and until Thursday to grant licenses.

23 Sep 2016: Liquor ban, CCTV unacceptable in dance bars: SC

Liquor ban, CCTV unacceptable in dance bars: SC

The Supreme Court allowed three dance bars in Maharashtra to operate without CCTV cameras and serve alcohol until 1.30 AM.

The three bars, the only one to get licenses, challenged a plea by Mumbai Police to add CCTV cameras and prohibit alcohol sales within the premises.

Passing a temporary judgement, the SC will hear the case again on 24 November.

27 Feb 2017: Maharashtra bar workers' association move SC against ban on dancers