India's Supreme Court allows dance bars to function without CCTV cameras

The Maharashtra government imposed these rules to ensure the safety of the women working in the dance bars. (Representative image) Photograph:( AFP )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 21, 2016, 09.50 AM (IST)
India's Supreme Court today, while hearing the Mumbai dance bars case, allowed dance bars having a valid licence to continue business even without CCTV cameras.

The court observed that installing CCTV cameras would mean violation of privacy of patrons visiting these bars.

Bar owners in the coastal city of India had challenged the strict laws imposed by the state government on the functioning of bars.

The Maharashtra government had imposed these rules in a bid to ensure safety of the women working in the dance bars. 

On August 30, the apex court had asked the state government to make a new law for grant of a dance bar license and had asked the government to reply within six months.

The Dance Bar Regulation Bill forbids serving alcohol in an area where a performance takes place and heavy penalties are imposed on violation of rules. It also mandates that such establishments must be closed by 11:30 pm.

Dance bar owners felt that the restrictions imposed are unreasonable, some of which include: maintaining a distance of 1 km from religious or educational buildings and closing bars before 11:30 pm.

They say maintaining the distance is impossible in a big city, where space is a constraint and closing the bar early is discriminatory as commercial bars are not forced to do the same. 

The government's counsel, Shekhar Nafade, defended the restrictions stating that the government had the right to make laws which protect its citizens.

(WION with inputs from ANI)