The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dhoti, not denims, for Bihar babus

Patna, Aug. 25 (PTI): Trendy denims, T-shirts and all bright colours are a strict no-no for bureaucrats in Bihar.

In a directive to civil servants yesterday, chief secretary A.K. Chaudhary asked the men to wear shirts and trousers in light colours, preferably grey or white, and the women to turn out in sari or salwar kameez with a dupatta thrown across, again in pale shades.

The men can also put on the traditional dhoti-kurta.

The directive followed a rebuke by Patna High Court to two Bihar Administrative Service officers who were slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 each for wearing a check shirt and a bright T-shirt while appearing in a contempt case on August 7.

Reprimanding additional collector of Munger R.N. Chaudhary and executive magistrate N.K. Singh for not adhering to the dress code and wearing “gaudy” clothes on duty, Justice S.K. Katariyar had asked chief secretary Chaudhary to ensure early realisation of the fine.

Chaudhary was not available for comment, but cabinet secretary Girish Shanker said the directive was only a reiteration of the dress code existing for decades.

The code was prepared in the early 1950s but officers began to ignore it over the years and, hence, the need for a fresh directive, he added.

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