Delhi High Court Strikes Down Law That Criminalises Begging in National Capital
Delhi High Court (Photo Credit: IANS)

New Delhi, August 8: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday decriminalised begging in the national capital. The Court while striking down the provision criminalising beggary, said provisions penalising the act were unconstitutional and deserved to be struck down. While pronouncing the judgment, the court also added that the Delhi government headed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is at the liberty to roll-out an alternative legislation to curb any racket of forced begging after examining all the aspects.

The High Court was considering two PILs seeking to decriminalise begging. The Central government had said there were sufficient checks and balances in the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act which criminalises begging. The PILs, by Harsh Mandar and Karnika Sawhney, have sought basic human and fundamental rights for beggars in the national capital, apart from decriminalising begging.

The petitioners have also asked the judicature to provide basic human and fundamental rights for beggars in Delhi. They have also sought proper homes and medical facilities for the beggars residing in the region. Bombay Prevention of Begging Act was formed in order to discourage poor from obtaining illegal profession so that they may be detained, trained and eventually employed elsewhere. The act was adopted by the Union Territory of Delhi in 1960.