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Dance Bars to Reopen in Maharashtra

as Supreme Court Puts Ban on Hold

The controversial law banning dance bars in Maharashtra, which provided employment to thousands of women, was put on hold by the Supreme Court today.

Dance bars have been a contentious issue in the state, where the government branded them as fronts for prostitution.

In 2005, the police cracked down on dance performances in bars. Elite establishments, including five star hotels, were exempted.

In 2013, after the top court ruled that dance bars will be allowed to operate, the Maharashtra assembly passed the law in June 2014, banning dance bars. All political parties were on the same page on the issue and the law was passed unanimously without a debate.

The estimated 700 establishments across Maharashtra state employed more than 75,000 women who performed Bollywood-style dance routines and received cash tips.
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