Indian Railways Will Decriminalize Smoking, Begging: Can You Smoke In Trains Now?
In a surprise move, Indian Railways has made a proposal to decriminalize smoking and begging in the trains.
What does this actually mean?
Can you freely smoke and beg in the trains now?
Indian Railways Will Decriminalize Smoking, Begging In Trains
As per reports coming in, Indian Railways will soon decriminalise smoking and begging inside the trains.
This means that there will be no jail and fine for these activities.
As per Section 144(2) of the Railways Act, both begging and smoking inside the trains is a punishable offense, and the culprit can be jailed for the same.
For begging, there is Rs 2000 fine and/or jail upto 12 months. Anyone or both can be slapped on the person caught begging.
For smoking, there is a fine of Rs 100 under Sectio 167 of the Railways Act. Either a co-passenger can complain, or the Railway Police can catch them.
But if the new proposals are accepted, then then the concept of jail will be removed.
So, does this mean that passengers are free to smoke inside trains now?
Smoking Will Carry Even Bigger Penalty Now
As per the reports, Indian Railways want prevention of smoking and begging, via higher penalty, instead of jail term.
The nature of the penalty has not been revealed, but we can speculate that the penalty can be increased to the range of Rs 1000 or more.
A Railways 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 and other staff will be increased to prevent such activities,”
Besides, there will be more surveillance, and more checks by Railways Police, and once the offender is caught, they will be empowered to impose higher fine.
Infact, the proposal states that the concerned authority can impose the maximumm fine, based on the nature of the offense, and the penalty will flexible, but there will be no jail term.
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.