Chandigarh admn slams reports, says not acting like moral policeman

The Chandigarh administration on Wednesday denied acting like a moral policeman or curbing the right of the citizens by trying to decide what they should wear while going to places, likes bars or discos.

In a press release, Chandigarh Administration said that it has framed a policy “Controlling of Places of Public Amusement, 2016” as per the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Surprisingly, some of the newspapers and electronic media have misquoted, misinterpreted and distorted the facts related to this policy, especially with the Section 6 of the policy, it said. The news articles have distorted the whole policy by picking up words and phrases from different part, the UT administration said.

The remarks came after a report had said that had been the administration had banned short skirts at bars and discotheques. There has been much anger and a buzz on social media after reports that the new nightlife policy had come in force since April 1.

However, a report said that the new policy did empower bureaucrats to cancel permits if the establishments are considered “indecent or of a scurrilous character” or “seditious and likely to excite political discontent.”

The administration on its part said that the Controlling of Places of Public Amusement Policy, 2016, has been carefully drafted with a view to regulate the related businesses in Chandigarh. It aims at taking preventive steps timely for the convenience of citizens and to maintain law and order within the city.

It added that nowhere in the policy it has been mentioned that females can’t wear skirts, while going to the places defined under the policy, as stated in the print and electronic media. The only motive of framing this policy is to provide conducive atmosphere for the guests visiting such places and to avoid any unlawful activities or any untoward incident. Chandigarh Administration assures all the residents and visitors coming to City Beautiful that their rights will never be infringed.

What the new rules do explicitly ban is carrying guns and firearms into bars and nightclubs, even if people have a licence for the weapons. Only security men are exempt, says the new policy, which has also curbed bar timings till midnight instead of the 2 am allowed earlier, much to the chagrin of citizens.