In a setback for the Maharashtra government, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to the renewed ban on dance bars and issued a notice to the state.
The ban, first introduced in 2005 and struck down by the Supreme Court last year which ruled that the bar dancers can resume working after bars get back their licenses for performances. The apex court upheld the Bombay High Court’s ruling that the ban violated the constitutional right to earn a living. Ban was restored by the Congress-NCP government this June by amending the Maharashtra Police Act. The government’s defiance has been challenged by the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (Ahar) in SC.
Its petition says the fresh ban, grounded in “personal vendetta”, was initiated in great haste to “defeat the SC judgment” and because “some politicians had made it a prestige issue”. The ban seeks to make the SC order a nullity, the plea adds.