SC seeks Maharashtra government response to validity of new law on dance bars

New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought the Maharashtra government’s response to a plea challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions of a new law regulating dance bars in the state.

Issuing a notice to the Maharashtra government, the bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice C. Nagappan rejected the state government’s plea that the petitioner, Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (IHRA), be asked to approach the Bombay High Court instead of directly knocking at the doors of the top court.

The petitioner IHRA has challenged the validity of some of the provisions of Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotel, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016 and the Rules.

While giving the Maharashtra government eight weeks time to respond to the petition by the IHRA, the court sought its response in two weeks on the plea for interim relief on the rule prohibiting liquor in the dance area and mandating the installation of CCTV cameras at the place of dance.

Directing the hearing on two issues on September 21, the bench noted that both were contrary to its 2014 judgment by which it had permitted the installation of CCTV cameras at the entrance only.

Appearing for the petitioner IHRA, senior counsel Jayant Bhushan told the court that the definition of “obscene dance” is so vague that it was capable of being misused.



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