The Bombay high court on Friday stayed the decision of the Thane Police to post policemen outside restaurant and bars on the pretext of ensuring safety of waitresses and to prevent any immoral act.
A division bench of Justice NH Patil and Justice Anuja Prabhudesai termed the approach of the police as "disrespect to the women" and restrained the Thane police commissioner from deputing two constables outside bars and restaurants which have either engaged waitresses or have orchestras.
The court was hearing a bunch of 36 petitions filed by owners of bars and restaurants challenging the decision of the police administration to depute police constables. They claimed that posting of police personnel from 1pm to 1am was breaching their fundamental right to carry out business in accordance with law.
Appearing for the owners, counsel Veena Thadani argued that the Thane city police have taken a very offensive stand in their affidavit in reply. The affidavit suggests that wherever women are employed, there is likelihood of immoral activities. She also argued that the affidavit tries to justify the decision to depute policemen inside bars and restaurants stating that the waitresses behave in indecent and obscene manner.
Public prosecutor Sandip Shinde, however, countered the argument by saying that policemen were being deputed in bars and restaurants as a preventive measure in view of past conduct of these establishments.
He pointed that about 102 offences under the Maharashtra Police Act have been registered against the bars during the past three years.
However, the court while admitting the petitions stayed the action of the Thane police and posted the petitions for final hearing in due course of time.