Membership to lawmakers in private clubs must: Panel

Membership to lawmakers in private clubs must: Panel

 The lawmakers are at it again. The legislators are trying to get a backdoor entry to private clubs on the pretext of regulating their functioning.

A legislative assembly committee set up to look into the functioning of clubs on Tuesday recommended making it mandatory for them to give membership to the lawmakers in their respective constituencies. This recommendation ignores stiff opposition from the public against the move in the past. The seven-member committee headed by Congress MLA N A Haris has also recommended banning a dress code in clubs and imposing restrictions on collecting membership fee.

The panel has annexed a draft Bill  – the Karnataka Regulation of Entry to Public Places and Regulation of Clubs Bill, 2016 – in its report tabled in the Assembly. It has recommended that the draft Bill be tabled in the House in the next session of the legislature.

MLAs, MLCs and MPs will be entitled to membership of two clubs of their choice in their constituencies if the draft Bill becomes law. However, this will be applicable only to clubs that have either obtained land from the government at a concessional price or got financial assistance.

Distinguished sportspersons, ex-servicemen who have received gallantry awards and civil servants will be entitled to membership of one club of their choice, the draft Bill said.

But no club, whether or not it has received benefits from the government, can impose a dress code. “No person, wearing a dhoti reflecting Kannada culture or any other Indian traditional dress, shall be denied entry into any public place, by reason only of his dress,” the draft Bill said.

Similarly, membership fees of all non-profit clubs should be stipulated by  the district magistrate.

The fee will depend on the facilities and services provided by the club. The draft Bill has also recommended a ban on gaming and gambling. Or the licence would be cancelled, it said. The state has 2,315 clubs and the government had allotted land to 37 of them.

Bowring Institute, Karnataka Lawn Tennis Association,  Koramangala Club, Karnataka Golf Association and Bangalore Club are some of the prominent clubs  for which the government had given land.

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