Panel for out-of-turn membership to MPs, MLAs in private clubs

A Legislative Assembly committee is likely to soon recommend enactment of a piece of legislation to regulate all private clubs and provide out of turn membership to the elected representatives.

The committee set up to look into the functioning of private clubs is likely to submit its final report to the assembly in the coming session of the legislature. The seven-member committee headed by the Congress MLA from Shantinagar N A Haris has already prepared the draft report, sources in the assembly secretariat said.

But it is not clear whether the committee will recommend reviving a draft bill notified last year by the State Stamps and Registration department. Karnataka Entry into Public Places (Removal of Restriction on Dress and Regulation of Membership and Fee) Bill, 2015 was notified in September last year, calling for objections and suggestion from the public, if any.

However, the government and the committee subsequently decided not to pursue the draft bill following wide-spread criticism against it. Besides providing membership to the elected representatives, the draft had  proposed to regulate clubs by fixing fees and doing away with the dress codes.

It had also proposed penal provision for those who fail to follow the rules.

Modifications
The sources said the committee is planning to slightly modify its earlier recommendation on providing membership to the elected representatives in the clubs.

It is likely to recommend that membership to MPs, MLAs and MLCs should be provided in any of the two clubs of their choice in their respective constituency.

In its interim report submitted to the assembly in 2013, the committee had recommended that the membership should be provided to MPs, MLAs and MLCs in any club of their choice in the state.

The committee is also planning to suggest that clubs should not keep the request for membership from elected representatives in the waiting list. Instead, membership should be granted out of turn, the sources said.

Similarly, the panel is likely to be less harsh as far as the issue of dress code is concerned. It is likely to recommend allowing dress code on special occasions and theme-based parties. The interim report had recommended do away with the dress code.
When contacted, the committee chairman Haris refused to comment.
DH News Service

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