<SMALL>PATNA: Trendy denims, sporty T-shirts and all garish attire are a strict no-no for bureaucrats in Bihar who can, however, wear the 'dhoti-kurta' to office.

In a directive to all civil servants on Friday, Chief secretary A K Chaudhary has asked men officers to wear shirts, Bush-shirts and trousers in lighter shades, preferably grey or white, while women should be clad in conventional sari or 'salwar kameez' with a dupatta thrown across, in plain and non-garish shades.

And yes, the men can put on the traditional dhoti-kurta, the staple dress of the rural folk in the hindi heartland.

The directive follows a severe rebuke by the Patna High Court to two Bihar administrative service officers who were slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 each for wearing check shirt and bright T-shirt to the court on August 7.

Taking a serious view of the officers not adhering to their dress code and wearing gaudy dresses on duty, Justice S K Katariyar had imposed the penalty on additional collector of Munger R N Chaudhary and executive magistrate N K Singh, who had appeared before him in a contempt of court case and asked the Chief secretary to ensure early realisation of the fine.

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

Girish Shanker said the code was prepared in early 1950s but officers began overlooking it over the years and hence the need for a fresh directive.
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