Title: Right to Dance - a changing stance on morality

Authors: Siddharth Tatiya; Saurabh Sharma

Addresses: B-24, Parsvnath City, Sangaria Pal by-pass Road, Jodhpur – 342013 (Raj.), India ' c/o Gayatri Sharma, House No. 527/8, Near Jeevan Jyoti Hospital, Fatehpur Road, Sikar – 332001 (Rajasthan), India

Abstract: The Right to Dance has been recently recognised by the Hon'ble Bombay High Court in its revolutionary judgment of AHAR vs. The State of Maharashtra [2006 (3) Bom CR 705]. In the instant case, the State of Maharashtra banned women from dancing in beer bars because the performances were vulgar, led to sexual exploitation of women, and were likely to corrupt public morals. The ban, however, exempted three starred and above establishments, drama theatres, cinema theatres, auditoriums, gymkhanas and clubs in order to promote tourism and culture. The ban was challenged as being violative of Right to Livelihood, Right to Profession, Right to Freedom of Expression and Right to Equality as guaranteed by the Constitution of India. The court struck down the ban on the ground that it was unconstitutional and violative of the fundamental rights of the bar dancers and bar owners to practise an occupation. The court further held that dance per se is a form of expression and is protected as 'freedom of speech and expression'.

Keywords: right to dance; morality; bar dancers; Indian Constitution; public policy; female dancers; India; freedom of speech; freedom of expression; dancing; dance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2013.056672

International Journal of Public Law and Policy, 2013 Vol.3 No.4, pp.384 - 394

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 21 Aug 2013 *

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