THE
PUNJAB MARRIAGE FUNCTIONS (PROHIBITION OF OSTENTATIOUS DISPLAYS AND WASTEFUL EXPENSES) ACT, 2003

(ACT V OF 2003)

14th Feburary,2003
An Act to prohibit wasteful expenses
on marriages and ceremonies related thereto.

Preamble.– Whereas it is expedient to provide for the prohibition of wasteful expenses on marriages and ceremonies related to it and to make provisions connected therewith and ancillary thereto;

It is hereby enacted as follows:-

1. Short title, extent and commencement.–

(1) This Act may be called the Punjab Marriage Functions (Prohibition of Ostentatious Displays and Wasteful Expenses) Act 2003.

(2) It extends to the whole of the Province of the Punjab.

(3) It shall come into force at once.

2. Definitions.– In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context –

(a) “Committee” means a Committee constituted under section 7;

(b) “Government” means the Government of the Punjab;

(c) “marriage” shall include all ceremonies, preceding and succeeding the formal wedding whether religious or social rituals such as mayun, mehndi, barat, nikah, rukhsati, walima and other related festivities;

(d) “one dish” means one salan with rice and roti or Nan and one sweet dish; and

(e) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act.

3. Prohibition of ostentatious celebrations.– No person celebrating his marriage or the marriage of any other person shall –

(i) decorate or cause to be decorated any street, road or public park or any place other than a house or a building, where marriage ceremony is being held, with lights or illumination;

(ii) explode or allow any one to explode cracker or other explosive device including firing by firearm;

(iii) display or allow any one to display fire works;

(iv) display or allow any person to display dowry to the public eye.

4. Restriction on wasteful expenses.– (1) No person celebrating his marriage or the marriage of any other person shall serve or allow any one to serve meals or other edibles to the persons in connection with a marriage in a club, hotel, restaurant, wedding hall, community center, community park or any other place, except so up or, hot or cold soft drinks:

Provided that one dish may be served at the Walima ceremony to a maximum number of three hundred invitees, including hosts, attending the ceremony:

Provided further that in case the number of invitees, including hosts, attending the Walima ceremony exceeds three hundred, no meal shall be served except soup or, hot or cold soft drinks.

(2) Nothing contained in sub-section (1) shall apply to the eating of meals within the house by the members of family celebrating the marriage, and the houseguests.

5. Application of the Act to hotels, restaurants, etc.– No person owning or running a hotel, restaurant, wedding hall, community center, or club being the site of marriage ceremony or any caterer shall serve or allow any one to serve any meals or edibles to the persons participating in the marriage ceremony except as provided in section 4.

6. Committees for prohibition of wasteful expenses on marriage.– Government shall, by notification in the official Gazette, constitute a Committee for each Union, Tehsil or Town, which shall perform such functions as may be prescribed.

7. Enforcement of provisions of the Act.– The District Coordination Officer at district level, Tehsil Municipal Officer or Town Municipal Officer at tehsil or, as the case may be, town level, Secretary union council at the Union Council level and Local Government & Rural Development Department at provincial level shall take all necessary measures for the enforcement of the provisions of this Act and shall be assisted by the Committees, in this regard, constituted under section 6.

8. Offences.– Whoever contravenes the provisions of sections 3, 4 or 5 shall be guilty of an offence punishable with fine which shall not be less than one hundred thousand rupees and not more than three hundred thousand rupees.

9. Cognizance of offences.– No court shall take cognizance of an offence under this Act except on a complaint in writing made by the Committee or the Authorities mentioned in section 7, in the manner prescribed.

10. Disposal of food and other edibles.– The food and other edibles procured, prepared, arranged or set for serving in contravention of this Act shall be disposed of in the manner prescribed.

11. Rules.– Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.