As the world is struggling to overcome the mass destruction that deadly COVID-19 disease is causing, India is also scuffling to eradicate and aware the citizens about the effects that spitting in open public spaces leads to.

Spitting in India is as common as that warning sign of “no spitting” at all places possible. Though a number of laws and provisions by the Centre and State have been laid down, yet this particular issue is a major hurdle that our country needs to surpass.

Especially in these times of COVID-19, spitting could be one of the major stumbling block that would only increase the precariousness of this disease and if we as a country could overcome this peril then we could probably be able to move one step ahead in defeating this deadly pandemic.

Laws against Spitting in India

Central Acts & Rules [List is inclusive, not exhaustive]

Spittoons- (1) In every factory there shall be provided a sufficient number of spittoons in convenient places and they shall be maintained in a clean and hygienic condition.

(2) The State Government may make rules, prescribing the type and the number of spittoons to be provided and their location in any factory and provide for such further matters relating to their maintenance in a clean and hygienic condition.

(3) No person shall spit within the premises of a factory except in the spittoons provided for the purpose and a notice containing this provision and the penalty for its violation shall be prominently displayed at suitable places in the premises.

(4) Whoever spits in contravention of sub-section (3) shall be punishable with fine not exceeding five rupees.

Rule 3 Clause (b) read with Rule 4

Rule 3 talks about the — Prohibition of activities affecting cleanliness and hygiene in the railway premises

Under the above rule, clause(b) specifically talks about that No Person shall cook, bathe, spit, urinate, defecate , feed animals or birds, repair or wash vehicles , washing utensils or clothes or any other objects or keep any type of storage in any railway premises except in such facilities or conveniences specifically provided for any of these purposes

Further, Rule 4 is the penal provision for violation of the above stated Rule, wherein the Fine would amount to Rupees 500.

What is to be read in the said regulation?

Regulation 98 [sub-rule (2) in specific] 

Now, Regulation 98 specifically talks about “Spittoons”

  1. In every portion of a dock including warehouses and store places, sufficient number of spittoons shall be provided in convenient places and they shall be maintained in a clean and hygienic condition.
  2. No person shall spit in the dock area except in the spittoons provided for the purpose and a notice containing this provision shall be prominently displayed at suitable places.
  3. Whoever spits in contravention of sub-regulation (2) shall be punishable with a fine not exceeding one hundred rupees.
  4. The spittoons shall be of an approved type.
  5. The spittoons shall be emptied, cleaned and disinfected at least once in every day.

State Acts

Almost every State has similar provisions against the menace of spitting in public in their Municipal Acts. Similar anti-spitting provisions are also noticed in Police Acts of various States. However, a few States also have specific Acts prohibiting/penalising spitting in public. Again, the following list is inclusive, not exhaustive.

  • Kerala Prisons and Correctional Services (Management) Act, 2010 : Section 81(9) r/w Section 82 Madhya Pradesh Public Health Act, 1949
  • Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001 : Section 441 r/w Sections 471, 472
  • Orissa Urban Police Act, 2003 : Sections 80 [clause (c) to be specific], 83 r/w Section 84
  • T.N. Prohibition of Smoking and Spitting Act, 2002 : Sections 4, 5, 8 r/w Section 2(h) r/w Sections 9(1), 12
  • W.B. of Smoking & Spitting and Protection of Health of Non-smokers and Minors Act, 2001 : Sections 5, 6, 10 r/w Section 2(8) r/w Sections 11(1), 14

Below is an awareness video by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare highlighting the dangers that is lead towards on spitting in public spaces in view of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Following are the points that have been featured in the video:

  • Spitting in public spaces is in itself “PROHIBITED” and the same stand can be maintained various Central and State Rules and Regulations as underlined above.
  • Spitting in public places increased the dangers of COVID-19.
  • To contain the outbreak of COVID-19, cleanliness of circumambient should be looked after
  • Spitting in public places and open surfaces adds to the danger and outbreak of COVID19.

Please follow the link to have a look at the video:


† Legal Editor, EBC Publishing Pvt. Ltd.

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