A Bill drafted by the Karnataka government on functioning of elite clubs in the State has received severe criticism from the Club office-bearers and members. The government notified the Karnataka Entry into Public Places (Removal of Restriction on Dress and Regulation of Membership and Fee) Bill, 2015, on September 3rd, calling for objections and suggestions.
Of all the aspects in the Bill, two points have drawn the attention of many.
1) The Bill mandates the recreation clubs and trusts to sanction membership to MLAs and MLCs. It also makes it mandatory to give membership to ex-servicemen, people with meritorious contribution in sports and those who have served for the betterment of society.
Many personalities in the cities who are members of various clubs have opposed the proposal to allow legislators to enter the clubs, when a long list of applicants are waiting from years to get membership to various clubs in the State.
2) Yet another proposed amendment is, restricting clubs from imposing dress code to enter the clubs. The Bill says “no person, wearing a veshti (dhoti) reflecting Kannada culture or any other Indian traditional dress, shall be denied entry into any public place, provided the dress shall be worn in a decent manner.”
A House Committee headed by Congress MLA A Manju drafted the Bill. Bill is now before the public, and September 16th is the last date for filing objections and suggestions to the Bill.
Here is where you can send your objections:
Manoj Kumar Meena, I.A.S.
Inspector General of Registration and Commissioner of Stamps and Chief Controlling Revenue Authority,
8th floor, K G Road, Bangalore-560 001.
Ph. No : 91-080-22220672
E-mail ID : email@example.com
You can also mail/ copy the objections to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the bill here:
Here is the link to the controversial Bill – http://18.104.22.168/karigr/notification/AmendmentBill-SocietyRegistrationAct1960.pdf
Here’s where you can see the bill:
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I myself also have no support towards reserving the quota for elected representatives.
Even if so, my opinion is to restrict to the local reps alone if the society is controlling or using any public asset like land or building under lease.
Becuase of the very nature of lack of clear regulations in Societies act, it is an act which is widely abused anywhere. I myself had experience in fighting back on strange terms by a society. The societies claim that their bye-law is supreme even if it violates any constitutional rights…such bye-laws are is in fact result of the dominant ones. The time for legal recourse is often inhibiting. With the new bill, the good part is a regulation and punishment including jail term is proposed – which is a
good deterrent from proposing arbitrary private laws.
Good bill in a way – but aren’t all citizens equal before the State? While ostensibly fighting against discrimination by the so called management of these clubs – the law makers are actually benefiting themselves using a Trojan horse. Instead of stating that no one may be denied membership, they have just given themselves the right to become members but no statement on ending discrimination. And while your garb is an important sign of who you are, this is just pure vote-bank politics – or the Trojan Horse on which they are riding into the clubs.
Entry into Public Places Bill, 2015 is a good step by Karnataka government. It is not just about giving recreation club membership. It is about bringing regulation for otherwise, free hand to dictate terms and conditions as per whims and fancies of the dominant ones in management committees of such societies. Many societies presumes their bye-laws have place above constitutional rights. This act also means punishment including imprisonment for management committees for (un?)intentional violations.