New Delhi: In a big relief to dance bar owners in Maharashtra, the Supreme Court today asked the state government to grant licenses to dance bars by March 15 as it modified seven conditions imposed by the state police for granting permit.
The apex court bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh also ruled out that no CCTV will be installed around dancing areas. It, however, directed that the CCTV camera should be installed at the entrance of the bar only.
The court permitted one of the conditions that there should be a railing of three feet in the dancing area and there should also be distance of at least five feet between the dancers and the viewers.
It also gave three days' time to the owners of the hotels and restaurants to comply with the modified conditions.
"There were about seven conditions for which the bar owners had strong objections. Two of the main conditions were, with regard to installation of CCTV cameras in the restaurant area and second was erection of railing or non removal partition," advocate Nishant Katneshwarkar, Chief Standing Counsel of the Maharashtra government, said.
"Only four dancers are permitted in a Bar. Out intention is to prevent obscenity. And protect the dignity of the dance girls," he added.
Dance Bar Association members had petitioned the court after Maharashtra Police imposed 24 new conditions on them before allowing them to open dance bars.
The apex court had in October last year stayed the operation of provision of the Maharashtra Police Act that prohibited dance performances at eating places, beer bars and restaurants, noting the provision was brought back in the Maharashtra Police Act in 2014 after being held ultra vires in 2013 by the top court.