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Actress Gauri Singh is reflected in a mirror as she adjusts her makeup during filming on the set of the Punjabi film 'Bolo Tara Rara' in Amritsar on November 16, 2012.
Narinder Nanu—AFP/Getty Images

India’s decades-old restriction on female make-up artists in its bustling film industry received fierce criticism from the country’s high court on Monday, with justices ruling that the profession can’t be limited to men.

The ruling against the 59-year-old practice was first reported by the newspaper Indian Express, which cited Justice Dipak Misra as arguing that depriving qualified job candidates of work was a violation of their constitutional rights. “How can this discrimination continue?” he was quoted with Justice U U Lalit. “We will not permit this.”

The justices reserved especially sharp words for the Cine Costume Make-up Artists and Hair Dressers Association, a trade union that explicitly endorsed the ban on the basis that men had a more urgent need for the work.

“You better delete this clause on your own,” the court warned union leaders. “We are in 2014, not in 1935.”

[Indian Express]

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