Mumbai dance bars: India Supreme Court overturns ban

File photo of a Mumbai dance bar
Image caption Before the ban, Maharashtra had some 1,400 dance bars

India's Supreme Court has ruled that dance bars can reopen in the western state of Maharashtra and its capital city, Mumbai.

The dance bars were banned in 2005 by the state government which said they corrupted young people and were a front for crime and prostitution.

Bar owners and dancers had bitterly protested against the ban.

Before the ban, more than 100,000 women were employed in some 1,400 dance bars in the state.

The women danced to Bollywood numbers and clients often threw money at them.

Maharashtra's controversial ban was overturned by the high court in Mumbai in April 2006, but soon after the state government appealed in the Supreme Court which ordered the bars to remain closed until it gave its order.

On Tuesday, Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice SS Nijjar said the bars can reapply for their licences and they can reopen.

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