Bombay HC questions how a law can prevent women from working in bars at night

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Mumbai, Mar 26 (ANI): The Bombay High Court on Friday questioned a Maharashtra State law that prevents women from working in bars and restaurants after 9.30 p.m.

Judges linked the law to that of laws prevailing during Nazi rule in Germany.

"Where are we living? In Nazi Germany?" asked Justice F I Rebello.

It was felt the law mainly targeted women working as waitresses and singers in bars.

In its affidavit filed before the court the Maharashtra Government claimed that women working in bars come from "the poor strata of the society, and are prone to illegal exploitation at the hands of male customers, hotel staff, etc. Hence, they are not allowed to work after 9.30 pm".

The Womanist Organisation of India (WOI) and the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (IHAR) challenged the Bombay Shops and Establishment Act, 1948 saying it is discriminatory.

The petitioner drew the attention of the court that the same rule does not apply to five-star hotels.

During the hearing, the petitioner informed the court that women working bars have to carry a document containing their personal details at all times. (ANI)

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