Indian Railways to decriminalise begging and smoking in trains : Report

New Delhi : The Indian Railways proposed to decriminalise begging, smoking in trains inside the coaches.

As per sources, “The provision of jail and fine for begging would be done away as the focus will now shift to prevention through higher penalties imposed on those found smoking in trains.”

One of the Railway official said that the decision have been taken by having a considerate discussion with Cabinet Secretariat on decriminalising certain offences.

The railways may add a couple of offences to the list as well as increase in spot fines. This exercise of certain fines undertaken under ministries and several other departments have proposed that increasing fine amount would much suitable than jail arrest to all those who offend.

As per Ministry official said, “This doesn’t mean that railways will allow or encourage begging at stations and in trains. Decriminalisation doesn’t mean it will be legalised. Surveillance by RPF and other staff will be increased to prevent such activities.” 

Smoking near Railway station banned in several states. According to Section 144(2) of the Railways Act, if a person do begging at the station, he’ll be punishment liable of up to one year jail  or with fine of up to Rs 2,000 or with both. As per the proposed amendment to this very particular section, no one shall be permitted to do begging in the trains.

Section 167 of the Railways Act also tells that a person if found smoking in the train after prohibition or even after co-passenger’s complain then will be liable to pay Rs 100 fine. The amount has not been finalised yet as per official.

As per latest norms if the offender pays the fine Immediately them there’ll be no further charging the fines and no further proceedings.