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Maharashtra govt to move SC on dance bars
April 12, 2006 16:04 IST
Last Updated: April 12, 2006 21:03 IST
The Maharashtra government will move Supreme Court against the Bombay high court decision striking down the ordinance banning dance bars.
The Bombay high court on Wednesday struck down a Maharashtra government ordinance banning dance bars in the state.
The court termed the ban unconstitutional.
The ordinance was quashed by Justice F I Rebello and Justice Roshan Dalvi who heard a bunch of petitions challenging the government's decision to ban dance bars.
However, the judges gave eight weeks time to the state government to file an appeal against the verdict.
The petitions challenging the ban were filed by bar owners, bar dancers, women's activists and NGOs.
Dance bars were banned from August 15, 2005, by an amendment introduced by the state government in the Mumbai Police Act.
The newly-introduced provision banned the holding of a dance performance of any kind in an eating house, permit room or beer bar and prescribed three years jail and fine up to Rs 2 lakh for those found violating the rules.
The Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association claimed in the court that the ban had affected about 2,500 establishments in the state and left around 75,000 bar dancers unemployed.
The state government justified the ban on the ground of immorality saying most of the dance bars had become pick-up joints for prostitution business.
The state countered the argument of dance bar owners that the ban violated fundamental rights of bar dancers saying the girls do not have a free choice of becoming bar dancers as most of them being lured to the profession by middlemen with job promises.
However, AHAR and Bar Owners Association argued that the ban was discriminatory.