January 17, 2019
The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed dance bars to reopen in Mumbai — but imposed regulations such as barring CCTV surveillance inside them.
The top court said performers could be tipped, but forbade guests to shower them with cash.
As well, it said there should be a mandatory written contract between performers and bar owners — the structure of which could be left to them.
However, the Supreme Court said there was no need for a monthly salary.
It said there was no need for CCTV surveillance inside dance bars as it violates privacy.
A three-judge bench of Justices AK Sikri, Abdul Nazeer and Ashok Bhushan set aside Section 6 of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016 — which forbade the granting licenses to discotheques.
It said no licenses had been given since 2005.
Hotel and restaurant owners, performers and others had challenged the Act in separate petitions.
The Supreme Court observed that it was “unreasonable” to prohibit licenses for dance bars within 1 km of a religious structure.
It upheld the closing time of 11.30 pm for such bars.
A QUICK RECAP: The Supreme Court has allowed dance bars to reopen in Mumbai, but has also imposed regulations. It said there should be a mandatory written contract between owners and performers, and said there was no need for CCTV surveillance inside the bars.