To curb misuse of resources and essential commodities, the Jammu and Kashmir Government on 21 February 2017 announced a guest control order. The order imposes restrictions on the number of guests at weddings and small functions like social and government functions.
The order that will come into force on 1 April 2017 restricts the number of guests at the bride’s place during the marriage ceremony to 500. The number of guests at the groom’s place is restricted to 400.
On the other hand, the number of guests at smaller functions like engagement among others has been restricted to 100.
Other highlights of the guest control order
• It bans the use of loudspeakers and firecrackers in any private or government social functions.
• It bans sending of dry fruits and sweets with invitation cards for functions.
• It says that the wedding menu will be restricted and non-vegetarian dishes cannot go above seven. It limits serving of fruits and sweets to two.
• It lays down norms to dispose leftover food and non-decomposing disposable items.
The order was issued by the department of food, civil engineering and consumer affairs after it received complaints in relation to the injurious use of essential commodities and expenditures that are made during public and private functions.
The order is not a new one in the valley. Earlier in October 2004, a similar guest control order was passed in the state that restricted the scale of hospitality, the number of guests as well as dishes at weddings and related ceremonies. Later, the order was stayed by the Jammu and Kashmir high court.
It seems that the order is similar to the Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016 that would be presented in the Lok Sabha in the upcoming session. The bill seeks to put a restriction on the number of guests at the weddings as well as lavish spending that includes the number of dishes.
The Marriage Bill, 2016 says that those spending above Rs 5 lakh on a wedding will have to contribute 10 per cent of such amount towards weddings of poor girls. The bill was presented in the Lok Sabha by Ranjeet Ranjan, a Congress MP, wife of MP Pappu Yadav.