Government proposal on membership, fee draconian, say Bengaluru social clubs

The proposed law states that clubs cannot deny membership to MPs, MLAs and MLCs without 'due consideration' of their applications.

The proposed law states that clubs cannot deny membership to MPs, MLAs and MLCs without 'due consideration' of their applications.
BENGALURU: The city's social clubs have joined hands to flay the government's proposed law that makes it mandatory for clubs to consider memberships for elected representatives.

The draft of the Karnataka Entry into Public Places (Removal of Restriction on Dress and Regulation of Membership and Fee) Act, 2015, put out by the Department of Stamps and Registrations, is being dubbed unconstitutional and draconian both by clubs and the public.

The proposed law states that clubs cannot deny membership to MPs, MLAs and MLCs without "due consideration" of their applications. It also gives the government a say in fixing the membership fees charged by the clubs. Clubs, however, had no objection to allowing people dressed in traditional clothes into their premises.

"We don't have a problem with allowing people dress in traditional attire but the issue on fees should be left to the clubs. We are convening a general body meeting to discuss the matter further," Century Club President and former additional chief secretary K Jairaj said.

Bangalore Turf Club, in its objection, termed the draft law unconstitutional. Its chairman V Harimohan Naidu said, "Most of the major clubs have objected and the dissent is unanimous."

The draft goes against Article 19(1) (c) of the Constitution, which guarantees the freedom to form associations.
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The Bangalore Club, the city's oldest social club, termed the draft draconian and urged lawmakers to drop it. "It is completely against the spirit of the law," its secretary Colonel (Retd) KD Murthy said. All the objections that have been received by the Department of Stamps and Registrations will be placed before a Legislative Assembly committee headed by Arkalgud MLA A Manju.The panel was formed early this year to look into the functioning of private clubs. Manju was unavailable for comment.
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