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Supreme Court: Showering cash on girls in dance bars a punishable offence

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday favored a new Maharashtra Act banning showering of currency notes on girls in dance bars. The court said the law respected “the dignity of women and dignify decency and culture”.

A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and C Nagappan, issued notice to the state government on a batch of petitions including one filed by Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (IHRA), challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016.

The court says,“no person shall throw or shower coins, currency notes or any article or anything which can be monetized on the stage or hand over personally to a dancer or misbehave or indecently behave with the working women or touch her person in any place”.

The violators of the Act provides for a prison term that can extend up to six months or fine which may extend up to Rs 50,000 or both.

The Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association said that showering of currency was a kind of tip given to performers and it could not be criminalised.

Jayant Bhushan, senior advocate who is appearing for the association, said money was given to singers performing on stage and there was nothing wrong if people gave money to dancers.

The bench said, “Prima facie, we do not find any illegality in it. It is for the benefit of performing girls. A person watching dance cannot throw coin or currency notes at dancers. It is against the dignity of the girls.”

A Bench of Justices J. Chelameswar and A.M. Sapre in a cryptic order on Tuesday said, “Neither the
Constitution nor any other law of this country provides an intra-court appeal insofar as the Supreme Court is concerned.”