Defending its new law on regulating dance bars, the Maharashtra government has told the Supreme Court that stringent norms were called for since various dance bars were used for prostitution and indulged in obscene acts. “It was observed that such dances were derogatory to the dignity of women and were likely to deprave, corrupt or injure public morality. It was also brought to the notice of the state government that the places where such dances were staged were used as places for immoral activities and also as a place for solicitation for the purpose of prostitution,” said the state government’s affidavit in the court.
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The state’s response has come to a notice by the court on a clutch of petitions challenging validity of the new law, Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016.
“Obscenity is at upper end of scale of indecency. The restrictions put by the Act, Rules framed there under and licensing conditions are reasonable,” it said.
Highlighting that the dances done in these bars were not classical forms of dances and the young girls dancing on these premises were not trained artistes, the government said that in such a situation, the possibility of dances becoming obscene to attract customers is inherent.