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Mumbai Gets Back Its Bar Dancers Thanks to SC

JULY 16, 2013

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Mumbai's famed bar dance girls, portrayed in Chandani Bar by Madhur Bhandarkar are set to bring the sultry nights back into the city life. Almost 8 years after the government ban on bar dancers in hotelss, the Supreme Court today upheld the their right to pursue their profession after getting a licence from the authorities.



Upholding the right of bar dancers, the apex court bench rejected the Maharashtra government's plea against the Bombay High Court verdict that struck down the police orders that banned dancing in hotels below three stars. Pronouncing the judgement, the bench said taht the orders did not touch the right of dancing girls under article 19(A). The bar dancers had contended that besides being discriminative, the order also violated their right to livelihood.
The bar dancers had also claimed that besides dancing, they were unable to pursue any other profession earn their living.



In its plea, the state government had contended that prostitution rackets were running in the garb of bars and indecent vulgar performances, "derogatory to the society" were taking place. The government had also contended that while there were only 345 licenced dance bars, about 2500 unlicenced bars were doing business. Contrarily, various organisations of dance bars, restaurants and bar girls had argued that the Bombay Police Act, 2005, which had been quahsed by the high court as unconstitutional, holds that dance performances for public amusement were allowed. They had also submitted that there were over 70,000 women working in dance bars and many had already committed suicide due to unemployment and financial crunch.



Besides, with as many as 72 % of the bar girls being married and 68 % being the only bread earners, the government's order has made them jobless and had been rightly struck down as arbitrary and unconstitutional by the high court.


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