Maharashtra can’t ban dance bars in name of regulation: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said that Maharashtra cannot ban dance bars by taking recourse to regulate them, noting that since 2005 no license has been issued.

“Since 2005 till date, no license has been issued. There may be regulation but that does not amount to a total prohibition,” said a bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan.

Pronouncing the judgment, Justice Sikri said that there could be no segregation of dance stage and that of drinking and eating space as it struck down the provision for “mandatory” installing of CCTV cameras in the dance bars holding that it violates privacy.

The court upheld the definition of obscenity given in the State law saying that it was not vague.

Holding that those visiting the dance bar could give tips, the court said no to the showering of money during dance performances.

The court held as “unreasonable” the provision that says that a dance bar should be one kilometer away from religious places, hospitals, and educational institutions.

However, it left it to the state legislature to take a call on the issue.