Dance bars set to open in Mumbai, but no CCTV cameras

As the Supreme Court directed the Maharashtra government to grant licences to dance bars by March 15, it also quashed the state’s proposal to monitor activity inside the bars through live CCTV feeds. But the state remains unperturbed by the SC’s directive and said it might make a legislative provision to empower the police to monitor and prevent any obscenity in the bars.

“The state can’t permit obscenity it has seen in the past in dance bars. We will approach the Supreme Court with an alternative. State government is also contemplating to move a suitable legislation [in this regard],” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the media after the apex court’s directives were made public on Wednesday.

The bar owners had moved the SC after Maharashtra Police imposed 24 new conditions on them before allowing them to open dance bars. The court asked the government to grant licences by mid-March after modifying seven of those conditions.

In addition, the court also forbade CCTV monitoring of the performance area since it would be a violation of privacy. Cameras will only be allowed at the entry and exit points of the bars.

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