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Referring to the running of bars and discotheques, the policy states the permission can be denied by the committee in case of "exhibition or advertisement of scantily dressed women" and "indecency" or if it is "seditious and likely to excite political discontent." The policy draft, however, does not define "scantily dressed women" or "indecency" and also doesn't elaborate on sedition. How do you define a scantily dressed woman or being indecent? Goyal added that it was a vague and harsh policy and would kill the nightlife of Chandigarh and ruin businesses.
While terming the policy as blatantly unconstitutional, noted lawyer Anupam Gupta, who studied the draft of the policy, said the entire policy was flawed.
"The entire notification is completely without any authority of law and the onus would be on UT to show under which law or which legal power they have passed this notification," he said.
According to senior advocate Ranjan Lakhanpal, the administration can't pass such a policy in the name of regulating nightlife. It's moral policing and in violation of fundamental rights of citizens.
In its policy "Controlling of Places of Public Amusement, 2016," which many have termed absurd and ridiculous, the Chandigarh administration has made all provisions for throttling city's nightlife in the name of regulation, citing indecency and sedition as top reasons.
CHANDIGARH: The Chandigarh administration appears to be sweating over rising hemlines at city discotheques, ruling that "scantily dressed women" or any "indecency" could shut them down.
The policy that came into effect on April 1 has not only curtailed the bar timings by two hours from 2am to 12 midnight, it also gives unprecedented powers to the babus over bar owners and makes running of discotheques an uphill task.
Vipul Dua, president of Joint Forum of Young Entrepreneurs and owner of a bar in Sector 35, said, "I have been in this business for last 10 years and never heard a single instance related to sedition from any of the city bars or restaurants.
"We have framed this policy following directions from the Punjab and Haryana high court.
In its policy "Controlling of Places of Public Amusement, 2016," which many have termed absurd and ridiculous, the administration has made all provisions for throttling city's nightlife in the name of regulation, citing indecency and sedition as top reasons.
Bureaucrats seem to find city bars and discotheques a breeding ground for anti-national elements too.
I am amazed that UT could make such a provision in the policy as ground for shutting down business." The Punjab and Haryana high court had ordered the UT administration to frame a policy for regulating the operations of city bars and restaurants after a number of violent incidents had taken place outside discotheques.
While the UT home secretary did not respond to repeated phone calls and the phone of deputy commissioner remained switched off throughout Tuesday, joint home secretary Karnail Singh, when contacted, said the policy was as per the law.