Bombay Prevention of Begging Act

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 31, 2022, 7:42

There is no centralized law in India that punishes beggars or those who beg for money. According to the 2011 census of India, almost 3 lakh children are forced to beg. In addition to living in poverty, these kids are exposed to terrible conditions, abuse, and torture.

Despite this, many states and union territories have anti-begging legislation in place. In Mumbai, Maharashtra, the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act 1959, serves as the model for all other conditions and anti-begging legislation. Let us know more about what the Bombay prevention of begging act is all about.

Bombay Prevention of Begging Act 1959

According to Section 5(5) of the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, if a person who has previously been arrested in a certified facility is detected begging, they may be sentenced to three years in prison. According to Section 6 of the BPBA, the individual faces an additional ten years in prison upon a second conviction.

A child is defined under the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act as a boy under 16 and a girl under 18. A kid under the age of five must be referred to a "children's court," where the or she will be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Children Act, 1960.

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Specifically, Section 11 of the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act states that if a person who has full custody, legal responsibility for, or care of a child allows or encourages the child to beg and accept alms or uses another person as an exhibit faces a punishment of one to three years in prison.

Provisions of Bombay Prevention of Begging Act 1959

The provisions of anti-begging legislation are highly subjective, and how the legislation is implemented is even more so. Anti-begging squads will sweep public areas such as train stations, temples, mosques, and bus terminals, arresting anyone who appears to be impoverished or homeless. There have been instances in which homeless or disabled people have been mistakenly labelled as beggars solely because of their circumstances of homelessness or infirmity.

Anti-begging legislation has received only a limited amount of court attention. Legislation against begging is still up for debate in the Supreme Court. When the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959, was challenged in court, just one petition was submitted, and the petitioner withdrew it. The petition challenged the Act's validity and whether it was valid legislation or not.

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FAQs on Bombay Prevention of Begging Act

Q.1. In which year was the Bombay Mumbai Prevention of begging Act passed?

Bombay Mumbai Prevention of begging Act was passed in 1959.

Q.2. What is the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act?

Bombay Prevention of Begging Act 1959, An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to beggars for the purpose of making uniform and better provisions for the prevention of begging in the State of Bombay and for matters connected therewith.

Q.3. What major difficulties do beggars face due to which acts like the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act were implemented?

Poverty, unemployment, a lack of electricity, cleanliness, drinkable water, and adequate housing, the non-availability of a ration card, a lack of money for the marriage of their daughters, numerous diseases, and other difficulties faced by beggars due to which acts like the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act were implemented.

Q.4. When it comes to helping the beggars, what can we do, What measure comes under the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act?

The Bombay Prevention of Begging Act is just one of the measures by which the Maharashtra Government puts a check on the act of begging. But there is much more we can do to help the beggars. Encourage the education of begging, poor, or whose parents are beggars by providing pre-and post-matriculated scholarships. Educate people on how to get a job, give them a self-employment kit, and organize self-help organizations to help them out.