It seems total moral policing is on in Maharashtra: SC on dance bars

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New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Thursday said that apparently "total moral policing" is going on in Maharashtra and sought to know from the state why it has not allowed a single dance bar to operate.

A bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan asked the Maharashtra government why it has not issued a single licence to dance bars even after court's repetitive orders.

The apex court observed that with the changing times, the definition of obscenity has also changed and now even the law and society have recognised live-in like relationships, which earlier were not acceptable.

Earlier, filmmakers used to show two flowers or two birds chirping instead of showing kiss or love-making scenes in movies but now the time has changed, Justice Sikri said.

During the hearing, the counsel appearing for the state argued that even today society at large has not changed as far as perception is concerned. No traditional families would allow their children to visit places like dance bars, he added.

The court was hearing a batch of plea filed by hotel and restaurant owners, bar girls and others challenging the new law of the state imposing new restrictions on licensing and functioning of dance bars there.

The new law is Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016.

As the hearing remained inconclusive, the court has now posted the case for August 23.