The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Maharashtra government to issue licences to dance bars by March 15, and also refused to allow the state’s demand that CCTVs be installed in each bar, with a live feed to the nearest police station. Police had insisted on the rule for the safety of the performers and to easily identify culprits in case of any violence at the bars, they said. The apex court said the CCTVs would be a violation of privacy. ANI said the Association of Bars and Restaurants approached the Supreme Court against certain rules imposed by the state government as pre-requisites to getting a licence.
Some of the other rules the police and state had asked for were that no person with a criminal history should be allowed to work at a dance bar, and that a three-foot wall must be built between the performance area and audience seating area. The court modified some of the conditions put down, and asked dance bars to comply within 10 days, reported The Times of India.
In October, the Supreme Court had stayed a state law that banned dance bars in the state. There was an ongoing tussle between the state and judiciary regarding the issue, after the state banned dance bars in 2005, and the court declared this unconstitutional in 2013. Following the verdict, the state government had again imposed a law banning dance bars in 2014. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had earlier said he supported the ban on the bars.