New Delhi, March 1: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Maharashtra government to grant licenses to dance bars by March 15 and refused the demand for the live feed of the bars to the nearest police station. The court stated that CCTV coverage of the performance area of bars would be a violation of privacy.
Dance Bar Association members had petitioned the apex court after Maharashtra Police imposed 24 new conditions on them before allowing them to open dance bars. The Association said in its petition that the new conditions imposed by the police were extremely contentious.
Aside from the CCTV feed, police had also said that there ought to be a three-foot wall between the performance area and patrons' seating area and that no persons with criminal history should be allowed to work in dance bars.
The Supreme Court modified some of these conditions as well and told bars to comply with them in three days. "10 days from then, the Maharashtra government must grant license to dance bars. The Maharashtra authorities shall act in accordance with the commander of the apex court and not put any additional condition to stall grant of license to dance bars," the court said.
Earlier in last October, Apex court stayed a law passed by the Maharashtra assembly banning dance bars, following which more than 150 dance bars started the process of re-opening, including seeking mandatory licenses.