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Can't ban lingerie-clad mannequins: Civic chief tells corporator

Sitaram Kunte rejects proposal initiated by corporator Ritu Tawde for punishing shops that have these dummys on display, but says state can initiate action under the Indecent Representation of Woman (Prohibition) Act

Four months after BMC corporators passed a resolution to ban mannequins sporting lingerie, Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte dismissed it saying that there was no provision in the civic law to ban display of lingerie-clad mannequins.

Ritu Tawde points at a lingerie-clad mannequin she found offensive while surveying a market in her ward in Ghatkopar last year. File pics
Ritu Tawde points at a lingerie-clad mannequin she found offensive while surveying a market in her ward in Ghatkopar last year. File pics

The resolution was passed in October 2013, after BJP corporator Ritu Tawde (39) saw lingerie-clad mannequins on display at shops in her Ghatkopar ward, number 121. She found the mannequins offensive and immediately moved a notice of motion (proposed) in the house, demanding action against the shops. Tawde found support in 227 corporators.

Civic chief Sitaram Kunte
Civic chief Sitaram Kunte

“The BMC allows neon signboards, commercial advertisements or signboards of shops with various terms and conditions, but there is no mention that types of statues or articles or clothes should not be displayed,” Kunte said. But, he mentioned that the state government could initiate action against the shopkeepers under the Indecent Representation of Woman (Prohibition) Act.

Slamming Kunte’s decision, Tawde claimed that the civic administration’s response was misleading and that she would write to Kunte. “Dummies clad in lingerie are perverting men and inciting them to commit sex crimes. It amounts to obscenity and leads to cases of molestation as well,” Tawde claimed.

Supporting Tawde’s opinion at the Law Committee meeting that was held in the last week of December, Congress corporator Jyotsna Dighe added, “Shops selling lingerie must hire only women as their sales representatives.”

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