New Delhi: Making it clear that the judgement on dance bars in Maharashtra will not be reviewed, the Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the state government for its efforts to beam dance bar shows to local police stations though CCTVs.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirit Singh said such a condition for grant of licence impinged upon not only individual’s fundamental right of privacy, but also to carry out a profession.
It said such a condition has been imposed by the state despite apex court judgment in 2014 holding as “unconstitutional” the state’s decision to close down all dance bars.
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, however, justified the condition on the ground that people visiting public places cannot claim right to privacy.
But when the Bench did not agree, she sought one week’s time to have a re-look at the conditions. Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, told the ASG “We never expect a CCTV in a bar.It is highly embarrassing for anybody to be seen drinking. Some people even object to be being photographed while eating in restaurants. There is a right to privacy everywhere.”
Justice Misra observed “every individual has own taste, style of eating or drinking and certainly would not like to be photographed or videographed. Police can interfere when there is an obscenity.”
“Please tell them there is a judgement and in that judgement it has been said on Constitutional parameters.”
“Prima face we are against partitions and CCTV. Dance has to be understood as an art bereft of obscenity. It is an art. If it ceases to be an art, then you can regulate.”
The State said those drinking or watching dance in bars are not entitled to privacy, coming as it does in the wake of growing criticism in the country about some indulging in moral policing.