The Supreme Court has paved the way for dance bars in Maharashtra, striking down strict laws imposed by the state in 2016. The apex court said dance and liquor can go together.
The court in its verdict said “There cannot be a total prohibition on dance bars. No licence has been granted by Maharashtra since 2005. There may be regulations but that should not amount to a total prohibition.”
A provision mandating that dance bars in the state should be 1 km away from religious places and educational institutions was cancelled by the court.
The Dance Bar Regulation Bill, that was unanimously passed by the state assembly in 2016, among other things, prohibits serving liquor in performance areas and mandates that the premises must shut by 11:30 pm.
It also imposes heavy penalties on dance bar owners and customers for not following these rules. The apex court also stated that performers at dance bars can be paid tips but cannot be showered with cash.