The big, fat Punjabi wedding and its many shameful shades are now illegal in Pakistan’s Punjab, as the province has passed a law banning serving of more than one dish, the display of fireworks and “public display of dowry”.
Violations are punishable by imprisonment for up to one month and a fine of up to 20 lakh Pakistani rupees. Pak Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif has vowed to strictly implement the new law, saying it will help promote “simplicity” and discourage “unnecessary show-off” in marriage functions. The provincial legislative assembly on Thursday passed the law with majority.
It bars exploding or allowing anyone to explode crackers or other explosive device, including firing by firearms, and displaying or allowing anyone to display fireworks. It disallows display of dowry to the public eye and causing nuisance or disturbance to the neighbourhood beyond reasonable celebrations.
It also prohibits serving of more than one-dish meal to guests in a marriage ceremony at any public place and bans managers of hotels, restaurants, and caterers from serving more than one dish in the ceremony.
The law also asks all those owning, managing or running a public place being the site of a marriage to ensure conclusion of all ceremonies relating to the marriage on or before 10 pm.
An offence under this Act shall be bailable and cognizable on a complaint by an officer notified by the government, while a first-class magistrate is authorised to summarily try the offence.