Indian bar girls perform at a dance bar in Bombay.
No CCTV cameras in performance area of dance bars in Maharashtra, says Supreme Court. Picture: Bar girls perform at a dance bar in Bombay May 5, 2005. [Representational Image]Reuters

The Supreme Court on Thursday put on hold Maharashtra's ban on dance bars, thus allowing them to reopen after more than a year.

Last June, the Maharashtra  government had restored the 2005 ban on dance bars in the state by amending the Maharashtra Police Act. 

The Supreme Court had already upheld the right of women to work as bar dancers in its 2013 judgement. 

In Thursday's judgement, the Supreme Court has given power to licensing authorities to regulate 'indecent' dance performances and to ensure there is no obscenity, according to the Press Trust of India.

The court has also reportedly put the onus on Maharashtra police to ensure the dignity of bar girls is maintained.

The 2005 ban on dance bars had put nearly 70,000 bar girls out of jobs, reportedly forcing many into prostitution. 

The Supreme Court bench that heard the matter on Thursday said that the state law brought into effect in 2014 was similar to the previous law banning dance bars, which had been quashed by the Bombay High court. 

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