Delhi HC strikes down certain provisions of ‘Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959’

Delhi High Court: While addressing two PILs seeking basic human rights for beggars the division Bench comprising of ACJ Gita Mittal and C Hari Shankar J., declared unconstitutional the provisions of criminalising Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959 as extended to the National Capital criminalising begging.

The High Court stated that the Delhi Government is at liberty to bring in alternative legislation in order to curtail racket of forced begging, also the Court clarified that the provision of the Act that does not directly or indirectly criminalises begging or relate to the same is not required to be struck down.

Further, the point to be noted in this matter, stated by the bench was that inevitable consequence of this decision would be that prosecution under the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act against the alleged persons who have committed the offence of begging would be liable to be struck down.[Harsh Mander v. Union of India,  2018 SCC OnLine Del 10427, dated 08-08-2018]

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