Six months after the Supreme Court directed reopening of dance bars in Maharashtra, the state government took a major step towards regulating their operation.
Through this new Bill -which was passed in the Upper House Monday, the state has sought to impose severe curbs on the dance bars.
“The rules will enforce installation of surveillance cameras in dance bars, prohibit serving liquor in areas where the dancers will perform and penalties in further detail,” said a senior home department official.
According to the Bill, places that obtain a licence to operate dance bars will not get any licence to run a discotheque or allow musical instruments. It also plans strict penalties.
While bar dancers made most of their money through tips earlier, the new Bill prohibits any person from giving money or anything that can be converted to money to the dancer in person or through any other manner. Any person violating this rule, or supporting the violation, will be liable to a punishment of up to six months’ imprisonment or a Rs 50,000 fine, or both.
The Bill also puts the onus of ensuring that there is no “obscene dance or harassment of any women employees for any immoral reasons” on the proprietor, manager or any person working on his or her behalf. It proposes to impose a punishment of up to three years in jail or a Rs 10-lakh fine, or both in case any violation is found.