Hyderabad may fight for dance bars

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Hyderabad/New Delhi: With the Supreme Court on Tuesday giving the go ahead for dance bars to re-open in Maharashtra, the way has been paved for dance bars to operate in Hyderabad too.
Following the judgement, the Orchestra Artistes Association in the city has decided to take up the issue with the government and approach the AP High Court citing the SC judgement.
The SC judgement, which stated that the ban was in violation of the Constitutional right to earn a living, is binding on all states.
Singing, dance and orchestra had been banned in bars in Hyderabad and Cyberabad in 2008 and cases had been booked against violators. City dance bars had been operating as regular bars since then.
The Maharashtra government had banned dance bars seven years back on grounds that performances by women at such bars were vulgar and detrimental to society.
SC judgment can pave way for AP dance bars
Hyderabad/New Delhi: A bench comprising Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice S.S. Nijjar of the Supreme Court upheld a Bombay High Court verdict that had quashed the Maharashtra government's order.
The Bombay High Court in 2006 had quashed the government's decision which had moved the apex court against the High Court’s order that same year. In its plea, the state government had contended that prostitution rackets were being run under the garb of beer bars and indecent and vulgar performances, “derogatory to society” were taking place.
Various organisations representing dance bars, restaurants and bar girls had, however, argued that the preamble of the Bombay Police (Amendment) Act, 2005, which had been struck down by the High Court as unconstitutional, holds that dance performances for public amusement were permissible.
They had also submitted that there were over 70,000 women engaged in dance bars and several of them had already committed suicide due to unemployment and financial crunch.
Assistant Solicitor-General of India in AP High Court P. Vishnuvardhan Reddy said, “Once the apex court declared the ban on dance bars as illegal, the judgement can be applied to similar dance bars in various states.
Though in AP, police commissioners had banned dance bars on the direction of the High Court, bar owners and artistes’ associations can approach the High Court by citing the SC judgement and accordingly they can run the bars in AP.”
In Hyderabad alone, there are 2,000 artistes including male and female singers and musicians who are registered with the associations and around 100 dance and singing bars used to operate under both commissionerate limits.
General secretary of Orchestra Artistes Association of Hyderabad G. Babu Rao said, “The SC judgement is a big relief for us. We are going to approach the government and the HC based on this judgement,” he added.
Reddy said the apex court judgement is not a licence for bar owners to stage erotic dances. “They have to take amusement licences from the authorities co-ncerned even for orchestra singing,” he said.

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