14/11/2023 at 01:00 #238131advtanmoyKeymaster
The States are responsible for taking necessary preventive and rehabilitative steps. As per available information, as many as 20 States and 2 Union Territories have either enacted their own Anti-Beggary Legislation or adopted legislations enacted by other States/UTs. Basic needs of man have traditionally been accepted to be three — food, clothing and shelter. The right to life is guaranteed in any civilized society. Criminalising Anti-begging Law is Unconstitutional.
[See the full post at: Anti-Beggary: Constitutional Act for disabled and unemployable]
14/11/2023 at 01:34 #238158advtanmoyKeymaster
The Jammu and Kashmir Prevention of Beggary Act, 1960
The Jammu and Kashmir Prevention of Beggary Act, 1960 (Act No.40 of 1960) received the assent of the Sadar-i-Riyasat on 16th October, 1960 and was published in the Government Gazette on 6 th December, 1960. Its preamble states that it is enacted as “An Act for preventing beggary and making beggars good citizens”.
It is also essential to set out the statement of “Statement of Objects and Reasons” as declared by the legislature. The same reads as follows:
“Beggary has become a nuisance and deserves to be checked. Some have adopted this as profession and are exploiting the philanthropic instinct though capable of manual labour. When we are marching towards a welfare State, it is high time to stopit, legal measures be adopted.”
For expediency, we may extract the Statute which consists of only nine sections and is relevant for the present consideration, hereunder:
“2- Definitions.- In this Act unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context –
(a) “Begging” means –
(i) soliciting alms in a public place, or in or about a temple, mosque or other place of public worship, whether or not under any pretence;
(ii) entering on any private premises for the purpose of soliciting alms;
(iii)exposing or exhibiting with the object of obtaining or extorting alms, any sore, wound, injury, deformity or disease whether of human being or an animal;
(iv)having no visible means of subsistence and wandering about or remaining in any public place or in a temple, mosque or other place of public worship in such condition or manner as makes it like that the person doing so exists by soliciting alms;
(v) allowing himself to be used as an exhibit for the purpose of soliciting alms, but does not include soliciting money or fee or gift for a purpose authorized by any law or authorized in the prescribed manner by the District Magistrate.
(b) “Sick Home” means a home certified by the Government or by any subordinate authority empowered by it in this behalf to be a fit place for the reception of beggars suffering from leprosy or any other infectious or contagious disease;
(c) “Court” means the Court of Judicial Magistrate 1st Class;
(d) “Police Officer” means a Police Officer not below the rank of a Sub-Inspector of police;
(e) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(2) The provisions of Section 61 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Svt. 1989, shall apply to every arrest under this Section, and the officer-incharge of the Police Station shall cause the arrested person to be kept in the prescribed manner until he can be brought before the Court.
5. Summary inquiry in respect of persons found begging and their detention.-
(1) Where a person is brought before the Court under Section4, the court shall make a summary inquiry as regards the allegation that he was found begging.
(2) If the inquiry referred to in sub-section (1) cannot be completed forthwith, the court may adjourn it from time to time and order the person to be remanded to such place and custody as may be convenient.
(3) If on making the inquiry referred to in sub-section (1) the Court is not satisfied that the person was found begging, it shall order that such person be released forthwith. (4) If on making the inquiry referred to in sub-section (1) the Court is satisfied that such person was found begging, it shall record a declaration that the person is a beggar. The Court shall also determine after making an inquiry whether the person was born in the State of Jammu and Kashmir and ordinarily resides therein and shall include the findings in the declaration.
(5) The Court shall order the person declared as beggar under sub-section (4) to be detained in a Sick Home, Children’s Home, or a Beggar’s Home, as the case may be, for a period not less than one year and not more than three years in the case of first offence.
Penalty for begging after detention as beggar.– (1) Whoever having been previously declared or detained in a Sick Home, Beggar’s Home or Children’s Home, as the case may be, in accordance with the provision of section 5, is found begging shall on conviction be punished as is hereinafter referred to in this section.
(2) When a person is convicted for the second time under sub- section (1) the court shall order him to be detained in a Sick Home, Beggar’s Home or Children’s Home, as the case may be, for not less than three years and not more than seven years:
Provided that if the Court, at any time after the passing of the sentence, of its own motion, or on an application, is satisfied that the person sentenced under this sub-section or Section 7, sub-section (2) sub-section (5) of Section 5 is not likely to beg again, it may release that person after due admonition on a bond for his abstaining from begging and being of good behaviour, being executed with or without sureties, as the court may require, by the beggar or any other person whom the court consider suitable.
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